An elderly couple walking outdoors with text "COPD and Exercise"

Walking is a safe and effective form of exercise for nearly everyone, including people living with COPD. The last thing someone with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) may want to do is go for a walk. A study, published in Respirology, suggests people with COPD who walk at least two miles a day lowered their risks of being hospitalized compared to those who didn’t exercise as much.

The study followed 543 COPD patients from five respiratory clinics and found that the participants who maintained a moderate to high level of physical activity could reduce their rate of hospitalizations. This was the case even if the activity of choice was a low-intensity one such as walking. In this study, the patients who had the best chance of staying out of the hospital were those who walked approximately two miles per day. In addition, the research shows that the participants who had a low level of physical activity or who slacked off from their exercise routine increased their chances of having an attack and needing to be hospitalized.

While walking was the focus of this study, other exercises can be beneficial.  Contact us to schedule an assessment and consultation to help develop an exercise plan that’s right for you.

Source: Esteban C, Arostegu I, Aburto M, et al. Influence of changes in physical activity on frequency of hospitalization in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Respirology, 2014 Apr; 19 (3): 330-338.

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