Breathing Easier with COPD in Summer

Breathing Easier with COPD in Summer

Being in hot weather may not feel like exercise, but the two have at least one thing in common. In hot weather, and during a workout, your body uses more energy than normal. While exercising, your body is using energy to move. In the heat, your body is using extra energy to maintain your body temperature.

When your body uses more energy, it needs more oxygen. This means that both exercise and hot weather can make your body work harder to get more air into your lungs. If you have Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), hot weather can make breathing more difficult.

There are several ways to breathe easier in the summer. First, as always, take breathing medications as prescribed. Secondly, adjust your schedule so that your lowest activity level is during the hottest part of the day. If you can, take a nap in the afternoon. Schedule more active pursuits in the morning or at night, when the weather is cooler.

Take additional pressure off of your lungs by doing things that help you stay cool: hang out in the pool, take cool showers, drink frozen drinks, wear loose clothing, keep the air conditioning on, etc.

If you exercise, keep it indoors or in cool water (Not all pools are cool in summer. If it’s hot enough an above ground pool can feel like a warm bath.).

Lastly, drink lots of water. Perspiration is the body’s natural cooling mechanism.

Ascension Health (St Vincent) Pulmonology at RMH        317-338-5105