When supplemental oxygen therapy becomes necessary in your life or the life of a loved one, feelings of dread, embarrassment, and frustration may arise. Don’t worry; these emotions are entirely normal, and many people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or pulmonary fibrosis go through it, too. Luckily, there are many simple ways to live a comfortable life on oxygen therapy that take the stress out of COPD.
Just because you have to lug around an oxygen tank everywhere doesn’t mean exercise and regular activities must stop. Low-impact and relaxed exercises are perfectly fine when on oxygen and may even benefit the therapy and your body. Daily walks with friends or family keep you mentally and physically engaged. However, remember not to overwork or strain yourself with too much activity. Light weightlifting, such as regular curls of two- to three-pound weights, build muscle strength and help regulate your breathing.
Some aerobics are done from the comfort of a chair or couch, like simple leg extensions, breathing exercises, or even chair dancing are completely safe forms of exercise. To ensure the protection of your oxygen tank, purchase longer tubing and a travel-size tank for a better range of movement. Confirm with your doctor what kinds of aerobics are right for you and never exercise if you are experiencing negative or heightened COPD symptoms.
Find a Hobby
There will be plenty of days when the exhaustion of COPD and oxygen therapy make the prospect of leaving the house daunting. Finding a new hobby is the best way to stay mentally engaged and preoccupied while at home. Pursue an activity that is easily conducted in the house and requires minor exertions of energy.
Try including friends and family with your hobbies to remain socially stimulated. You may be surprised how collaborative hobbies bring people together. Create a schedule for when you will partake in your new hobby, so you have something to look forward to every single week!
With incredible technological advancements to oxygen therapy, you’re still capable of going out and living an exciting life. Doing everyday activities with friends and family such as getting lunch, going shopping, or seeing a movie is entirely possible while on oxygen – even going on a road trip is a possibility thanks to a portable oxygen concentrator made for use in a car.
Don’t let COPD put a hold on your enjoyment. With these simple ways to live a comfortable life on oxygen, you’ll be able to share many more memories with friends and loved ones.