If you’re breathless because of COPD, the thought of increasing your movements to walk regularly may seem a bit scary. Walking regularly, however, can actually help to improve a variety of aspects of your health. Read on to learn about 5 benefits of walking when you have COPD1.
1. Reduced Anxiety and Stress: When you feel stressed, your body releases stress chemicals into your blood as part of a normal response to the stress. If you are constantly feeling stressed over a long period of time, it can have negative effects on your health such as high blood pressure. By walking, your body can metabolize the stress chemicals and release endorphins to help relieve pain and make you feel better.
2. Improved Cognitive Function: Your ability to plan, remember, organize and multi-task can be improved by exercising.
3. Helps Control Weight: Since being above your normal weight can make it even harder to breathe, walking helps you to lose weight or control your weight, and in turn reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer, type 2 diabetes and other conditions.
4. Improved Mood: Walking and other exercises allow your body to release endorphins which have a calming effect on your body. This is particularly helpful since many people with COPD and other chronic lung diseases often experience feelings of depression.
5. Helps you Quit Smoking: Quitting smoking can be difficult, but walking can help to rid your body of some of the anxiety and stress that can come with nicotine withdrawal. Walking may also help to distract you from cravings.
- about.com. Accessed 11/6/14.