Strengthen the immune system: Lung patients should also go for walks in the cold
In the current cold weather, very few people like to go outside. Especially patients with lung diseases avoid low temperatures because their complaints often increase. Nevertheless, a daily walk is recommended for you to strengthen your immune system.
Take a walk every day
The weather will soon become much milder, but there is still bitter cold in many regions. However, people who suffer from lung diseases such as COPD or asthma do not have to take care of the house. Rather, you should go for a walk every day to strengthen your immune system. The Federal Association of Pneumologists (BdP) recommends this on the internet portal "Pulmonologists on the Net".
Exercise is good for lung patients
COPD, also called smoker's lung, is one of the most common diseases worldwide. According to estimates by the German Respiratory League, around three to five million citizens in this country will be affected.
According to doctors, bronchial asthma affects around nine percent of the adult German population.
Health experts generally advise patients with lung diseases to move instead of to take care, and lung sport also helps lung patients.
Complaints at low temperatures
However, lung patients often suffer from increasing symptoms at low temperatures, since the bronchi contract when inhaling cold air.
However, these are already narrowed in lung patients with asthma or COPD, for example. This can lead to increased complaints such as coughing and shortness of breath.
However, this does not mean that those affected are forced to stay indoors only when it is cold. "Rather, a daily walk in the fresh air would be recommendable to strengthen the immune system", explained the chairman of the BdP, Dr. Andreas Hellmann.
Breathe through a cloth or scarf
To avoid breathing difficulties - especially when the air outside is not only cold but also foggy - lung patients should breathe in and out with a scarf or a cloth, for example.
"This warms and humidifies the air a bit before inhaling," explained Dr. Hellmann. “Fog and the greater humidity in the air can become a problem if the mucous membranes absorb too much water. Then the mucous membranes swell and the bronchi narrow again, ”says the doctor.
According to the expert, this effect can be prevented by inhaling a saline solution because the salt prevents swelling.
Ventilate regularly at home
Dr. Hellmann advises asthmatics to take a bronchodilating spray as a precaution, since the transition from warm rooms to the cold outside can make breathing more difficult.
"With a stroke from the asthma spray, this can be prevented well before leaving the apartment," said the expert.
The apartment should be ventilated regularly, "in order to avoid too dry heating air, which can dry out the airway mucosa and thus lead to more cough, but also to a reduced defense against infections," explained Dr. (ad)