Open Accessibility Menu
senior couple doing yoga

4 Tips for Helping Your Loved One with COPD Start an Exercise Program

Senior Care in Framingham MA

Quite often a loved one with COPD is not excited about the prospect of exercising. But the reality is that exercise is really good for someone who has COPD, within reason. Here are some starting points that can help you start the right exercise plan with your loved one.

Talk to Your Loved One’s Doctor

Always make sure that your loved one’s doctor is on board with any new exercise program. If your loved one isn’t ready for a full exercise program, then physical therapy or pulmonary therapy may be the first step. Once your loved one sees results from those activities an exercise program may be feasible. It’s never a good idea to start an exercise program if your loved one’s doctor doesn’t think it’s a good idea.

Set Some Reasonable Goals

Once you and your loved one have the go ahead for an exercise plan, set some goals that are reasonable for your loved one to attain. It’s easier to get going if your loved one has a goal to reach for, too. Set goals that are somewhat of a challenge but not completely out of reach. You don’t want your loved one to end up discouraged by having goals that are set too high. One of the goals that you might set is that your loved one goes for a walk every day. Another might be that he wears a step tracker and hits a certain number of steps each day. The goal doesn’t have to be big to be motivating.

Know When to Rest

Exercise is good for your loved one, but so is rest. If your loved one feels that he’s overdoing it on a particular day, then that’s a clue that he needs to rest. Also, when he first starts out with an exercise routine, your loved one is more likely to have a tough time doing a full workout. That’s perfectly fine. As he gains more stamina, he’ll be able to do more. Let him rest when he needs to so that he doesn’t overtax his lungs.

Keep Track of Progress

Sometimes it’s tough to see how much you’ve accomplished a few weeks down the road. It’s also pretty easy to get discouraged if you’re still doing “easy” workouts. To help your loved one see what he’s really accomplishing, help him keep an exercise journal. He can track what he did, how long or how far he exercised, and how he felt afterward. He’ll be able to spot progress a lot more quickly when it’s written down and you’ll have a written record you can share with his doctor or his non-medical caregiver to show what he’s able to do.

Regular exercise is definitely beneficial for your loved one with COPD, but the trick is sometimes getting started.


If you or an aging loved one are considering non-medical in-home care in Metrowest Boston, MA, call Griswold Home Care and speak to one of our caring staff members today. Call (781) 559-0073