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What can be done to help COPD?

    1. Stop smoking

    It is never too late to give up! The benefits begin within a few days.

    2. Exercise and breathing

    When you exercise or carry out daily activities you may feel breathless. This is not dangerous and the breathlessness disappears rapidly when you stop exercising.

    Breathlessness can be very uncomfortable and frightening but the worst thing you can do is avoid exercising. If you do, you will almost certainly become unfit and eventually feel even more breathless during simple tasks.

    Try to exercise as often as you can to improve your overall fitness and well-being; practice by walking up the stairs. Stop when you need to rest and you will feel the shortness of breath disappearing rapidly. Sometimes, breathing through 'pursed lips' may help you to catch your breath.

    Another easy way to exercise is to walk for 30 minutes each day. It is advised that you take your reliever medication before you exercise, as it will help to relieve your symptoms when you exercise.

    If your breathlessness suddenly becomes worse or does not disappear rapidly after exercise, you should see a doctor. If your breathlessness is becoming troublesome, it is very important that you follow a rehabilitation programme as advised by your doctor. It will help you exercise for longer before feeling breathless, improve your symptoms and enhance your quality of life.

    3. Diet

    It is important that healthy eating becomes part of your daily routine. You should try to eat lots of fruit and vegetables.

    Being overweight will make your breathing even more difficult. However, if you are underweight for your height, you may need a special diet.

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