RFLA Health Team to host COPD exercise program starting Sept. 27

Rural Frontenac Lennox and Addington Allied Health Team

Adam Prudhomme

Rural Frontenac, Lennox and Addington Health Team will once again be hosting a 13-week COPD exercise program, starting Sept. 27.

Included in the free program are a fitness assessment, education and 10 weeks of exercise sessions, all held at 310 Bridge Street W in Napanee.

“People do need to have a diagnosis of COPD-chronic obstructive pulmonary disease,” explains Katherine Taylor, registered kinesiologist with the RFLA Allied Health Team. “People with other breathing issues like asthma and other issues of shortness of breath without COPD, they don’t qualify for this program. There’s different stages to COPD and we do invite anybody of any stage to join us.”

The first class will be an assessment to gauge the fitness level of each participant, with a program then tailored to their abilities.

“As COPD progresses people start to become more incapable of doing things around the house,” said Taylor. “At the severe stages even washing your own hair or dressing yourself or walking 100 feet, you’re quite breathless doing those things and you need a break or you can’t do some of those things. When people with COPD exercise, I think about the benefits, we’re strengthening the lungs and the breathing part of things, but also the muscle building is really important. The muscles work with the lungs and the way I explain it, if our muscles are weak doing things, like let’s say we’re walking up a hill or we’re climbing stairs, if our muscles are weak because we’re not exercising, it’s going to demand more from the lungs.”

She adds that exercise helps the muscles draw in oxygen more efficiently, thereby alleviating the strain on the lungs.

A total of 15 spots are available in the class. To register, call Taylor at 613-449-5678.

A COPD exercise class isn’t the only program being offered by the RFLA Allied Health Team this fall, as they’ll also host sessions aimed at improving quality of life such as Diabetes Education Program, Chronic Pain Program, Strong Bones, Virtual Cooking and Insomnia Program, among others.

For a full list of programs, visit https://rflahealth.ca/home/programs/.

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