I live and work in Boston and have been diagnosed with COPD. I want to keep working and I heard that exercise was good for me, but it seems like it will just cause more shortness of breath. Is this true?

Absolutely not. There is a myth that COPD patients should stay still and calm to avoid breathing problems. But the truth is that exercise will actually help you to breath better, in addition to helping your heart and lungs to function at their best. 

Here are a few of the benefits of exercise for COPD patients:
  • Your energy level, strength, resistance to infection and bone strength all increase.
  • You will get a better night’s sleep and find it easier to relax.
  • You will experience less shortness of breath.
  • Risk factors for heart disease will decrease.
  • Your blood pressure and blood sugar levels will decrease.
  • There will be fewer side effects of the medications you take for COPD, including steroids.
  • You will find that your mood is elevated, and if you suffer from depression, those symptoms will lessen.

However, before you begin an exercise program, you should talk to your doctor to help choose what is the best and safest for you. He or she may recommend a pulmonary rehabilitation program, which combines education, exercise, counseling and nutrition to help you with your endurance and strength. In the meantime, talking with our SSA disability benefit specialists could help ease your financial burden while you make these important health decisions.

At Keefe Disability Law, we meet many people like you who want to do the best things they can to slow the progress of COPD and live life as fully as possible. And, as Social Security disability lawyers, we can help you with your financial decisions if you decide to apply for New England SSA disability benefits. Just give us a call toll free at 888-904-6847 to speak to a specialist.
John L. Keefe
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Founding Attorney, Massachusetts Social Security Disability Lawyer