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Do you suffer from breathing difficulties such as chronic bronchitis, emphysema or chronic asthma?

“Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease” (COPD) is an umbrella term used to describe this group of conditions that obstruct airflow in your lungs and make it difficult to breathe.

Unfortunately, diagnosis often occurs in the later stages because of the 1 in 7 Australians aged over 40 years who has COPD, at least 50 percent do not know they have it. This means they’re not taking the early steps to control their symptoms or to slow down the progress of this potentially disabling condition.

Breathlessness and coughs are the key symptoms of COPD, which can both slowly creep up on people. In the early stages, you may find it difficult to run to catch the train or play with young children, but these symptoms can worsen over time to the point where everyday tasks such as hanging out the washing or walking to get the mail feel challenging.

Unfortunately, people who have chronic lung conditions are often less active, which results in reduced fitness and decreased muscle strength. However, with regular exercise, such as walking or cycling for more than two total hours each week, you can improve your health, feel better, keep well, and increase your likelihood of staying out of hospital. Exercise can also enhance the strength and health of your heart, as well as the muscles in your body, arms and legs. It can also help improve your breathing, clear sputum from your lungs, reduce breathlessness during daily tasks, and increase the number of activities that you can do each day.

In addition to exercise, the symptoms of COPD can be controlled, and the ongoing damage can be slowed, through actions such as quitting smoking, better understanding your medicines, maintaining a healthy diet, discussing immunisation options with your doctor, and enrolling in a Pulmonary Rehabilitation program.

“Pulmonary Rehabilitation” is a exercise and education program that teaches you about your lungs, how to exercise, how to undertake activities with less shortness of breath, and how to live better with your lung condition.

GLCH in Lakes Entrance delivers a Pulmonary Rehabilitation program commencing with an initial assessment by an exercise physiologist or physiotherapist. To find out whether this program could help you better manage your breathlessness, contact our Complete Therapies team on 5155 8370.