Exercise for COPD does not have to make you breathless
Today, in honour of World COPD Day coming up, for today’s blog post we’ve talked to a coordinator, Carol Muldoon from COPD Tallaght to talk about how the group got established and how exercise has made a difference to their lives.
“Last year, myself Phil and Paddy volunteered to set up Tallaght COPD Support Group. We roped Nicky and Tisha in along the way.
Our 1st step was to reach as many people as we could, so we got The Echo a local newspaper to run a story about COPD with Phil as our poster boy. We designed a logo for our posters and stuck them up anywhere we could, with details of our 1st general meeting in Tallaght library.
We had speakers come in and give a talk on different subjects one of which was Paul from Siel Bleu who is a physical trainer. As exercise is very important for people with COPD it was decided our main goal was to get an exercise class up and running. So with the help of COPD Support Ireland our 1st session was organised to be held in Rua Red on a Thursday morning at 11am.
Since then we have come on in leaps and bounds. Our numbers have grown and we all look forward to our weekly exercise class with our Siel Bleu trainer Sean. He makes us work hard but also makes sure we have an enjoyable workout.
We also have a social side to our group and have enjoyed a trip to Kilkenny castle and the Titanic experience in Belfast. We are also having our Christmas hooley in the Red Cow.
We have come a long way in the last year and look forward to the future and what it may bring.
Our motto in Tallaght COPD Support Group is Get Up, Get Dressed and Get Out.
For those of you who don’t know, COPD stands for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease which is the umbrella term for chronic lung disease. It’s symptoms include shortness of breath and fatigue and can be caused but not always by smoking.
Exercise is a vital therapy for people living with COPD, however there can be a misconception that due to breathlessness symptoms of the disease, it can be dangerous to exercise. There is a spiral of decline associated with COPD, a person feels out of breath, doesn’t do any physical activity due to fear of becoming more breathless, and in turn the symptoms worsen.
For someone like Carol who never exercised before starting the class with Siel Bleu she said “I found the exercises tough going at the start. Even the warm up was a challenge!” However after a few weeks of persistence the results pay off, “I find them a lot easier now and I’m not afraid to push myself a little bit more.
I enjoy the craic we all have and we don’t notice the time going by. There are great improvements in all the group. And it doesn’t take long for newcomers to catch up.”
For more information about COPD visit www.copd.ie