Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) exercise.

The most common types of obstructive lung disease are COPD, emphysema and chronic bronchitis.  Often these conditions may occur together and also be associated with other chronic conditions such as asthma, respiratory cancers and diabetes due to the shared risk factors and the effect of COPD on other parts of the body.

Patients with obstructive lung conditions will find it very difficult to exhale air from their lungs and will find that they have frequent coughing, wheezing and tightness in the chest. There are some risk factors and common causes of COPD which include smoking, passive smoking and fumes/chemicals/dust found at work environments. Dyspnoea is one of the most serious outcomes of COPD, and that will affect a person’s quality of life. This will result in an increase shortness of breath and leads to decreased activity due to fear avoidance and therefore deconditioning.

Patients with COPD are encouraged to engage in physical activity and exercise, as it will help maintain and improve COPD conditions. Cardiovascular training will help with your heart function, lung capacity and increase of activity levels. Resistance training will develop more muscular endurance, strength and mobility to give you more confidence while performing your daily activities of living. Breathing exercises and medication can be prescribed by your GP and would provide benefit to quality of life.

How can an exercise physiologist help you? We are able to provide you with an individualised program to suit your activity levels and exercises that will help strengthen your muscles and provide you with proper techniques for exercise. Together we will be able to change the cycle of inactivity so that you can have a better quality of life. If you require further information on COPD and how exercise can help improve your quality of life, please contact us at or visit our website for more information.


Antimony Sven Fang (B.Sc. – Sports Science, Grad Dip – Exercise Rehab)

 Accredited Exercise Physiologist (AEP) (ESSAM)


Breathe (Sheff), 2014. Your lungs and exercise. US National Library of Medicine National Health Institutes of Health, 12(1), 97-100.

Kagaya, H., Takahashi, H., Sugawara, K., Kasai, C., Kiyokawa, N., Shioya, T., (2009). Effective Home-Based Pulmonary Rehabilitation in Patients with Restrictive Lung Disease, 218, 215-219.