4 Tips To Help Patients Suffering From Respiratory Or Cardiovascular Diseases Improve Their Quality Of Life
Respiratory diseases (like:asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and pneumonia) are disorders affecting the lungs and their ability to take in oxygen from the air and deliver it to the bloodstream. Cardiovascular disease refers to the narrowing or blocking of the coronary arteries causing cardiac or heart disease; this causes the heart to not pump as well and can lead to heart failure or a heart attack. Cardiac disease is a leading of death in Canada; approximately 90% of Canadians have at least one risk factor for heart disease.
- Keep active. An active lifestyle helps maintain or improve your respiratory and cardiovascular health, lessens fatigue, and can help you to live longer. If you have had surgery, walking is an important component of all post-surgical interventions. Work with your physiotherapist to develop an exercise program suitable for your lifestyle and your health.
- Breathe easier. For those with respiratory or cardiovascular disease (e.g. COPD), or who have recently had surgery, lung function can become compromised. Your physiotherapist will teach you breathing techniques and exercises to promote optimal lung function, and will perform manual techniques to assist with breathing and circulation.
- Manage your condition/disease. Understanding the limitations and prognosis of your condition or disease can help improve symptoms and slow the progression. Respiratory and cardiovascular group programs are available through many hospitals or community centers. Patients can attend these while regaining function through one-to-one advice from their physiotherapist.
- Quit smoking and improve nutrition. Physiotherapists promote healthy habits in all aspects of life, while helping patients optimize function. Quitting smoking, and eating nutritional foods can slow and sometimes reverse the symptoms of respiratory and cardiovascular illnesses. Your physiotherapist will direct you to appropriate resources.