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It’s no secret that exercise is good for what ails you, especially if what ails you is a chronic respiratory condition. It’s also true that exercising with a chronic respiratory illness presents a number of notable challenges, especially when supplemental oxygen is required just to walk across the room.
If you’re looking to start an exercise program that will allow you full use of your Inogen One portable oxygen concentrator while doing so, why not try Tai Chi? An ancient, though gentler form of martial arts, Tai Chi involves a series of purposeful, flowing movements performed in a slow, focused manner while carrying out deep breathing exercises. The gentle, meditative movements performed during Tai Chi are believed to provide a number of important health benefits as well as reduce stress.
Clinical studies suggest that Tai Chi may have a role in the management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). In fact, the health benefits derived from Tai Chi can be compared to a traditional pulmonary rehabilitation program. Not only does Tai Chi help improve lung function and reduce symptoms in COPD patients, but it increases activity tolerance  as well. If you’re a patient with COPD, talk to your doctor today about the benefits of Tai Chi.
Breathlessness experienced during exercise is one of the main reasons that people with respiratory illnesses don’t exercise. Utilizing portable oxygen during exercise results in a reduction of breathlessness and a significant improvement in exercise capacity allowing you to exercise longer and gain more benefit.
Whether in the comfort of your own home or with a group under formal instruction, the portability of the Inogen One combined with the slow, non-jarring movements of Tai Chi make exercising with portable oxygen a breeze.
Remember, your need for supplemental oxygen may increase during exercise. That’s why it’s always best to check with your health care provider before starting any type of exercise program.
Author: Deborah Leader RN, BSN, PHN
Photo Credit: Luigi Scorcia, tai chi 11.4.09