Since the pandemic began, patients suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) have been incessantly trying to find ways to protect against the coronavirus. And, although scientists are still trying to understand everything connected to Covid-19, one thing we know for sure – we can minimize the risk by managing our exposure to the lethal virus.
This is especially important for COPD patients because they are at higher risk from the coronavirus and they all know quite well that isolation is the ultimate rule to minimize the risk of infections and protect from Covid-19. But, what else can they do? Read on and find out how COPD patients can defend themselves against the coronavirus.
Nutrition is important for everyone’s health. During the pandemic, it is even more crucial that vulnerable people pay more attention to their eating habits and avoid eating unhealthy food. Namely, processed foods are full of sugars like glucose. And, when glucose levels go up in COPD patients it usually means more severe COPD exacerbations and long hospital stays since high glucose levels may result in inflammation which narrows the airways.
Hence, if you suffer from COPD, ensure you avoid unhealthy food and instead focus on getting more whole foods rich in vitamins, minerals, and other beneficial nutrients that can help you boost your immune system.
Taking your medications as prescribed by a doctor is more important than ever. Sometimes, by not following your doctor’s recommendations you can aggravate your condition. So, now it’s the perfect time to check whether you are using your inhaler properly to ensure your lungs are receiving the dose needed.
Furthermore, if your doctor prescribed you medications for suppressing airway inflammation, which are usually taken by COPD patients, make sure you are taking them since one of the major issues of contracting Covid-19 is inflammation of the airways.
Finally, ensure that exercise is included in your strategy for protecting from the coronavirus. But, since self-isolation is key to minimizing the risk of getting contracted it means that you aren’t able to attend your pulmonary rehabilitation classes. Thus, it’s time to look around and find how you can start your own exercise routine. Keeping your health in optimal condition is crucial during the pandemic to defend yourself from potential infection.
Luckily, even 10-15 minutes of daily exercise can improve your fitness level and have a positive effect on your health and COPD. And, what’s even more convenient, you don’t have to leave your home in order to exercise effectively.
Here are some exercises that you can perform at your home:
- Good Posture – The way you hold and carry your body is very important for managing COPD symptoms. Fixing a bad posture cannot happen overnight but in self-isolation, you certainly have the time to do it. You can achieve this by doing chin tucks every morning and standing with your back against the wall.
- Breathing Exercises – Breathing correctly is crucial for COPD patients. Hence, you should practice deep, also known as diaphragmatic, breathing. Effective exercises you can try to improve your breathing include pursed lips breathing, coordinated breathing, and diaphragmatic breathing.
- Stationary Bikes – This is a great option for at-home endurance training and extremely effective for COPD patients because lung function is key in determining overall endurance.