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COPD Lifestyle Changes

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a serious disease. If you have COPD, you may face physical challenges that may make you feel worried or sad. Learning about COPD and its treatment can help you feel more in control. If you or a loved one has COPD, follow these steps to cope with the lifestyle changes this disease brings.

  • Don't smoke. If you are a smoker, there are many ways to get help with quitting. Talk to your doctor about products and medicines that can help you quit. Join a quit smoking class like Freedom from Smoking®. Ask your family and friends to support you, and ask them to help you manage your COPD by not smoking in your home or around you. You also can get free support from trained tobacco cessation counselors by calling our Lung HelpLine at 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872).
  • Monitor air quality. Try to avoid dust and fumes, and stay indoors on bad air days. Check daily air quality levels and air pollution forecasts in your area. Sources include local radio and TV weather reports, newspapers and online at
  • Get a flu shot every year. Also ask your doctor if you should have the pneumonia vaccine. 
  • Protect your lungs. Learn steps to reduce your risk of illness.
  • Learn about nutritionEat a well-balanced diet and maintain your ideal body weight.
  • Stay active. Ask your doctor about exercises to help you build strength and breathe easier.
  • Get emotional support. Living with COPD may cause fear, anxiety, depression or stress, but there are ways to find help.

    Reviewed and approved by the American Lung Association Scientific and Medical Editorial Review Panel. Last reviewed December 23, 2017.

    Page Last Updated: March 13, 2018

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