Keeping an Active Lifestyle with COPD


Meg Watson

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Meg Watson is 88 years old and, despite her COPD, lives an active lifestyle in an independent apartment at a continuing care retirement community in Hudson, Ohio.

I have to confess. I don’t use my walker all the time. I find that if I’m not trying to get anywhere too fast, or not on my feet for too long, I really don’t need it. Sure, I’m a little slower at everything I do now (getting dressed is almost a chore).  But overall, I consider myself a pretty healthy eighty-eight-year-old -- and a pretty busy one too.  

I go to an exercise class at the retirement community where I live twice a week, and have found that this not only helps build strength in my legs, but it builds the endurance in my lungs, which is especially important for me, because I have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

I like to get dinner with friends and go on day trips with the other residents of my retirement community. Just recently I went on a bus trip to the Cleveland Art Museum to see a special exhibit on Impressionists painters. For that trip, I did bring my walker, since we walked around the museum for about two hours. I was tired and winded but not overly exhausted. Some days I’ll have lunch or dinner with my son, Bill who lives in town, and about once a year I travel to Minneapolis to visit my son, Jack, and family.

Dr. Katina Nicolackis, pulmonologist at the Cleveland Clinic, explains the importance of quitting smoking, medications and oxygen in managing COPD.

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