10 Tips to Living Better with COPD

These suggestions from our COPD experts will help you make lifestyle changes to better manage your COPD and enhance your quality of life.

 

 

  • Retrain your breathing.

    Retrain your breathing.

    Practice pursed lip breathing or coordinated breathing to help move air into and out of your lungs.

  • Avoid getting sick.

    Avoid getting sick.

    Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently with soap and water. Cough or sneeze into your elbow area or a tissue. Don’t touch your eyes, nose and mouth until you’ve washed your hands.

  • Keep your inhaler and nebulizer clean.

    Keep your inhaler and nebulizer clean.

    Clean breathing equipment often, carefully following the item’s cleaning instructions.

  • Get the vaccines your doctor recommends.

    Get the vaccines your doctor recommends.

    It’s a good idea to get an influenza vaccine every fall and the vaccine series against pneumococcal bacteria as recommended.

  • Learn how to bring up mucus.

    Learn how to bring up mucus.

    Practice deep coughing or huff coughing to help clear mucus out of your lungs so you can breathe better.

  • Eat to gain weight if that's your goal.

    Eat to gain weight if that's your goal.

    Eat five to six small, well-balanced meals a day, and a snack that have appropriate calories. Avoid low-calorie foods.

  • Eat to lose weight if that’s your goal.

    Eat to lose weight if that’s your goal.

    Eat protein, vegetables and fruit with each meal. Do not skip meals. Have a snack mid-morning and mid-afternoon. Avoid high fat or high sugar foods and drinks. Increase your physical activity.

  • Keep exercising.

    Keep exercising.

    Regular exercise can improve your heart, lungs and muscles, and it can help you breathe easier and feel better. Try walking, water aerobics and riding a stationary bike.

  • Give up smoking.

    Give up smoking.

    Giving up nicotine is one of the most important things you can do for your health. Ask your doctor about ways to quit, and use these tips from our smoking cessation experts.

  • Follow your doctor’s advice.

    Follow your doctor’s advice.

    Follow your doctor’s action plan for taking medicine, using oxygen, resting and watching your symptoms. Call your doctor when you have questions.

 

This information has been approved by Ann Mullen, RN, CNS, AE-C, CDE, February 2017.