This article was reviewed by Senior Director of Community Engagement and COPD360social Community Manager, Bill Clark, as well as certified staff Respiratory Therapists on January 29, 2020.
Dear COPD Coach,
I know it is important to have a regular exercise program to improve breathing, and that pulmonary rehabilitation is a great way of exercising. Will my exercising also improve my oxygen saturation for daily activities I do without using O2, and will it keep my oxygen saturations higher while doing the 6 minute walk at my doctors?
Dear Into Exercise,
It is known that muscles that are in better condition do a better job of utilizing oxygen. When you’re in better shape, you can do more, even if your lung condition itself does not change. However, if a person with COPD increases their fitness level through exercise, it cannot be assumed that they will require less oxygen, or no longer need their supplemental oxygen. Again, your lungs are damaged and that cannot be reversed.
I’m not sure what you mean about the 6-minute walk keeping levels high. I will say that if a person with COPD does correct pursed-lips and diaphragmatic breathing, he or she can increase their O2 saturation numbers by a couple points with activity and walking. This doesn’t mean, though, that they can get rid of their supplemental oxygen. The best way to check for oxygen needs is to use a pulse oximeter in a variety of situations: sitting, walking, doing chores, etc. and record your numbers. Then have a talk with your pulmonary health care professional about what’s safe and right for you.
I hope this helps,
-The COPD Coach
Coaches Corner is aimed at providing information for individuals with COPD to take to your doctor, and is not in any way intended to be medical advice. If you would like to submit a question to the Coaches Corner email us at [email protected] We would love to hear your questions and comments. You can address your emails to The COPD Coach.
This blog is for information purposes only. The content is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Should you have a medical or dermatological problem, please consult with your physician. None of the information or recommendations on this website should be interpreted as medical advice.
All product reviews, recommendations, and references are based on the author’s personal experience and impressions using the products. All views and opinions are the author’s own.
This blog post may contain affiliate links. An affiliate link means we may earn a commission if you click on a link and make a purchase, without any extra cost to you.
Please see our Disclaimer for more information.