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Although there is no cure for COPD, there are many ways to help you manage it. COPD severity ranges from mild to very severe. What is needed to manage COPD is different from one person to the next. Here are some of the strategies that can help you take control:
If you smoke, quitting is the most important step you can take to slow the progression of the disease.
What is pulmonary rehabilitation?
Pulmonary rehabilitation teaches people with lung disease many skills that can help to improve exercise tolerance, reduce shortness of breath and fatigue, and conserve (manage) energy. It is also a great way to be in touch with other people who also have lung disease.
What happens after pulmonary rehabilitation?
Some communities also offer an exercise maintenance program that allows people to continue exercising once they have completed a pulmonary rehabilitation program. In some communities, where there is no pulmonary rehabilitation program, a community exercise maintenance program can fill the need to exercise in a safe, supervised setting.
Where can I find pulmonary rehabilitation or exercise maintenance programs?
To find out if there is a pulmonary rehabilitation program or an exercise maintenance program in your area, go to https://www.lung.ca/lung-health/get-help and enter your province/town OR your postal code and search distance.
What is Fitness for Breath?
Fitness for Breath is an exercise maintenance program run by The Lung Association with several locations across Ontario.
There are many strategies that you can learn to help improve the control of your COPD. Strategies include:
Live a Healthy Lifestyle
Many people who have COPD also have other chronic diseases. These are called “comorbidities.” COPD comorbidities may include:
It is important to work with your health-care provider in managing all of your comorbidities.
The Lung Association’s national COPD program offers practical information and support for people with COPD and for their families and caregivers.
The Lung Association Lung Health Information Line
The Lung Association Lung Health Information Line is a free, confidential lung information service offered between 8:30 am – 4:30 pm Monday to Friday, Eastern time. To speak with a Certified Respiratory Educator, a health-care professional with special training in COPD, call 1-866-717-COPD (2673). After hours, you can leave a message and we will return your call. Our educators will answer your questions about COPD symptoms, diagnosis and treatment, and help you learn about managing your COPD.
Our resources offer plenty of information on how to make living with COPD easier. You can download them or order printed copies by calling The Lung Health Information Line at 1-866-717-COPD (2673).
Groups and Programs
Find a COPD rehabilitation program, support group or education centre near you. Find a lung health support group in Ontario.
PEOPLE LIVING WITH chronic lung disease are caught in a difficult cycle – cardiovascular exercise is essential for strengthening their lungs, yet at the same time, lung disease often prevents them from participating in regular fitness programs.
BREATHWORKS™ is The Lung Association’s national COPD program that offers practical information and support for people with COPD and for their families and caregivers. If you have COPD or if you know someone who has it – BreathWorks™
YOU HAVE QUESTIONS about Breathworks™; we have videos, toolkits, leaflets, worksheets, DVDs and other valuable resources.
COPD CAN’T BE CURED, but it can be managed! Browse back issues of our classic quarterly newsletter BreathWorks for tips on making the most of your breath. Plus, get inspired by the work that our Lung Health Ambassadors are doing at Queen’s Park and in their communities!