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COPD - EXERCISE AND DEPRESSION

December 19, 2016

“I’M (OLD) (TIRED) (WEAK) (OUT OF BREATH) (DEPRESSED) (SICK) (Please choose one or more excuses), SO I CAN’T EXERCISE!”

 

Being afflicted with COPD is no picnic.  It is so easy to fall into self-pity, depression, and feelings of uselessness.  It is so easy to just sit down and wait for death.  It helps to have a good recliner and a TV remote and, ideally, someone to bring you food at regular intervals.

 

I realize that COPD and depression can go hand in hand.  I have, as they say, “been there.”  I have my recliner and my remote and my beautiful wife who keeps shoving food at me.  However, I have something else.  I have a serious case of the stubborns! 

 

It is my stubbornness that keeps me moving, keeps me exercising, helps to keep me sane!  It was the stubborns that kept me on the treadmill at 8 or 9 liters of oxygen up until my double lung transplant, that helped me make it through the surgery, that helped me recover.  You see, as I am fond of telling anyone who will listen, exercise will help you to build up the other muscles that you need to function, thereby making it easier to perform whatever function you might have in mind.  It will not turn you or me into a long-distance runner or even much of a long-distance walker, but it will help.

 

Exercise will, in addition, help to alleviate your feelings of depression!  Some studies have shown that regular exercise can be just as good as medication in relieving the doldrums into which we fall.

 

Uncle Jim

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