By using pacing, energy conservation techniques, and pursed lip breathing, you will be able to complete more of your daily routine with less fatigue.
Any activity that you do can be broken up into sections. Do one small part to the activity or task, take a short break, focus on your breathing, and then do the next section. It may take a few minutes longer to get the job done, but you will not be so fatigued at the end, and you will not need to spend so much time recovering from the strain.
If an activity or task makes you very tired or causes you to become short of breath that lasts more than 1 – 2 minutes, then it was either too much for you or you neglected to pace it out properly. If you lose your relaxed, controlled breathing pattern, then you are probably working too fast, and must slow down. You can use the breathing pattern to slow yourself by taking extra breaths between movements.
Consider learning a new method for getting the job done. Sit whenever possible, use long-handled equipment, power tools, and labor-saving devices as much as possible. Alternate heavy jobs with light ones.
** The key to successful activity pacing is to learn your limitations for an activity and try to work within them.**
Think about when is the best time of day for you. Is morning difficult until you have your medications and a slow start? Do you feel like you have more energy in the later afternoon or early evening? Perhaps you are a night owl, and prefer to sleep until 11 am. Does the freshness of early morning give you a good start?
Do your most energy-consuming activities at YOUR best time of day! Use slow, flowing movements. Rushing will only increase your discomfort. Organize your activities and try to do them the same way each time. A routine of the same methods make you more proficient and you will save time and energy. Set up your work, play, and living areas for convenience and less energy expenditure.
Eliminate unnecessary details of work. Make work easier with correct heights and reaching distances. Wait until an hour or so after eating to tackle a task. Digestion draws blood, with its oxygen away from muscles, leaving them less capable of coping with extra demands. Don’t permit yourself to be overburdened, either by possessions or old habits. You will be amazed when you learn how many energy wasters you can eliminate with no noticeable loss.
**Remember that your capabilities and limitations will fluctuate from day to day, even from hour to hour. The important thing is to listen to what your body is telling you, and trust your own feelings**
Multidisciplinary Pulmonary Rehab Staff
Your Program Is Made Just For You!
What You’ll Learn…
Home Exercise Program
Relaxation Techniques & General Guidelines
Living With COPD
Medications & You
Local Community Resources
Reading For Pulmonary Rehabilitation