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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Will I ever be able to properly exercise with COPD?

  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 3


    Luke Delvecchio

    Diabetes Educator, Exercise Physiologist, Nutritionist

    Specializing in the assessment and treatment of metabolism related weight disorders. View Profile

    It is best to seek medical advice, because the symptoms of this condition and the severity of this condition vary. So someone who has that question should definitely seek medical advice. Exercise can certainly help. Exercise can help with cardiovascular conditioning. It can also help with the sensation of breathlessness. So people with COPD who exercise regularly are able to improve their ability to exercise without the sensation of breathlessness. They can also improve their ventilation efficiency, muscle strength, flexibility, and certainly can help with weight management.

  • 4


    Dr George Blair-West is a psychiatrist in private practice in Brisbane. He is semi-retired and no longer taking new patients as he has a large … View Profile

    First let me put on my hat as a medical doctor (and my hat as a past owner of a health and fitness centre - which abbreviates to a ‘gym’) – the first question is what are you exercising to achieve? If it is to avoid osteoporosis (which requires repetitive impact), manage pain in certain areas of your body, or to build strength/muscle then I have good news for you. (If it is for wegiht loss I will come back to that with a different hat.) These kinds of exercise are much less aerobic i.e. they require much less lung capacity. You can take your time and do the reps at the speed your lungs are able to supply the necessary oxygen.
    You need to see a qualified exercise physiologist at your local gym to advise you on the best exercises to work on the parts of your body in question, while avoiding aerobic-intense exercise.
    Now, if you’re trying to lose weight, then I need to put on my hat as a psychiatrist, researching, writing and working in this field. Don’t worry, I still have good news for you! Despite what many who have not kept up with the research still believe, exercise is not a little bit less powerful when it comes to losing weight, it is a very, very poor second cousin, a certified weakling.
    We can easily achieve a 5-fold greater weight loss from managing our intake (and without going on a crazy diet). I have written about this research at length in books and articles – perhaps the best article to bring you up to speed is this one. It also addresses the problem of what is called ‘motivational fatigue’ that exercise brings to the weight loss table.
    I hope this helps.
    All the best.

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