COPD is globally a major cause of poor health and morbidity, with an estimated 15% of Kiwis over 45 living with the condition. 3,4,5
Characterised by shortness of breath, wheezing and a chronic cough, those with COPD can also experience a tight chest and are susceptible to recurrent colds.
As people with COPD tend to use more energy just to breathe it can mean that previously simple tasks can become extremely difficult due to breathlessness and fatigue.
This often leads to avoidance of exercise because the feeling of breathlessness is unpleasant or frightening. In turn this leads to a reduction in fitness, and then further breathlessness on exertion.
Pulmonary rehabilitation that includes an exercise component is one of the key recommended approaches.
Whilst it cannot reverse lung disease, it can:
Affecting 1 in 9 adults and 1 in 7 children, the prevalence of asthma is on the rise.
People with asthma may show less tolerance to exercise due to worsening asthma symptoms during exercise or other reasons such as deconditioning as a consequence of inactivity.
Appropriate exercise programmes can provide valuable benefits to people with asthma including:
1. Milne, 2015. Hospital admissions for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in New Zealand.
2. Spruit, 2013. An official American Thoracic Society/European Respiratory Society statement: key concepts and advances in pulmonary rehabilitation.
3. McCarthy, 2015. Pulmonary rehabilitation for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
4. Ries, 2007. Pulmonary rehabilitation: joint ACCP/AACVPR evidence-based clinical practice guidelines.
6. Vogiatzis, 2002. Interval training as an alternative modality to continuous exercise in patients with COPD.
7. Bhandari, 2013. Comprehensive pulmonary rehabilitation results in clinically meaningful improvements in anxiety and depression in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
9. Carson, 2013. Physical training for asthma.