How exercise helped my COPD

Nazar has chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). This World COPD Day, he explains how quitting smoking and doing more exercise has kept him out of hospital.

I was diagnosed with COPD about 5 years ago. Before that, I had been in and out of hospital with chest infections. I’d go in for a few days, get discharged, and then go back in again when my symptoms got worse. 

I’d go down to stay with my daughter and would have to be admitted to hospital. At the time, it was very bad. Eventually, the doctors gave me a breathing test and put me on some different antibiotics.

I was diagnosed with COPD

I was diagnosed with COPD and the doctors gave me leaflets to help me understand more about what it meant.

I tried to follow all the advice of team of people looking after me – the GPs, the consultants, the nurses. They told me that it’d be a good idea to give up smoking and start exercising more.

So I did. I gave up smoking right there and then and it made me feel so much better.

I went to pulmonary rehab

mosque event
Nazar attended a BLF meeting at his mosque

The doctor also told me about pulmonary rehabilitation (PR), which is a specialised exercise class for people living with a lung condition. I went on a course of PR and completed it after 12 weeks.

Since I finished that course, I’ve not had any infection and I have never been in hospital because of a flare-up.

Then, after I finished, I started exercising on my own. I go for a walk every single day, and I usually walk a couple of miles. Now I can walk so far without getting breathless.

In my house, my bedroom is on the second floor, and now I can go up and down the stairs a few times each day with no worry at all.

I can't wait to go to the gym again!

Recently, I had an operation on my eye and the doctors told me I shouldn’t exercise for a while. I can’t wait to start going to the gym again!

I’d recommend 2 things to people living with COPD: firstly, if you’re already smoking, you should definitely give it up. It’s made such a difference for me.

Secondly, have a conversation with your doctor about what help is available. If pulmonary rehabilitation is available, then go along and try to finish the course.

There’s no use sitting at home and doing nothing. I followed my doctors’ instructions and now, 5 years later, I feel better than before I even had any lung problems!

I’m so glad I stopped smoking and got more active. It’s made such a difference.


If you live with a lung condition, exercise classes, singing for lung health groups and Breathe Easy support groups can help improve your symptoms.

Find support in your area


Add new comment

CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
6 November 2017