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Tai Chi and the Inogen One Oxygen Concentrator: A Win-Win Combination

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.

Tai Chi and COPD

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.[1] Not only does Tai Chi help improve lung function and reduce symptoms in COPD patients, but it increases activity tolerance [2] as well. If you’re a patient with COPD, talk to your doctor today about the benefits of Tai Chi.

Tai Chi and Portable Oxygen via the Inogen One

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[3] 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


[1] Yan JH, Guo YZ, Yao HM, Pan L. Effects of Tai Chi in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: preliminary evidence. PLoS One. 2013 Apr 23; 8(4):e61806.23:8(4)e61806. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0061806. Print 2013.
[2] Chan AW, Lee A, Suen LK, Tam WW. Tai Chi Qigong improves lung functions and activity tolerance in COPD clients: a single blind, randomized controlled trial. Complement Ther Med. 2011 Feb;19(1):3-11. doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2010.12.007. Epub 2011 Jan 17.
[3] Nasilowski J. Benefits of oxygen on exercise performance in patients with chronic lung diseases.  Pneumonol Alergol Pol. 2013;81(3):259-66.


Photo Credit: Luigi Scorcia, tai chi 11.4.09


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