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Lifestyle Changes for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Your NYU Langone physician may recommend making several lifestyle changes to prevent chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, from worsening, regardless of the severity of the condition.

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Stop Smoking

The most common cause of COPD is smoking. By quitting smoking, you improve your oxygen intake and breathing, which can become compromised with the condition. NYU Langone’s Tobacco Cessation Programs can help you quit for good.


Virtual Urgent Care

For minor medical concerns that need care today, schedule a Virtual Urgent Care video visit to video chat with an NYU Langone Health provider.

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Get Vaccinated

You can protect your lungs from further damage by avoiding infections like pneumonia and influenza. The best way to do that is to get a flu shot during cold and flu season, as well as the pneumococcal vaccine.

Adapt Your Work Environment

If you’ve been diagnosed with COPD and are frequently exposed to lung irritants at work, such as dust and chemical fumes, talk to your supervisor about making changes to your work environment, such as wearing a protective mask while working.

Stay Active

Exercise helps strengthen muscles and improve endurance. It also trains the body to use oxygen more efficiently, and can reduce shortness of breath during everyday activities. Gentle exercises like gardening, golfing, and slow walks are ideal because they don’t overexert the lungs.

Maintain a Healthy Weight

If you’re overweight, weight loss can improve symptoms of COPD, such as shortness of breath. Our doctors understand that weight loss is not easy, especially if COPD restricts your ability to exercise. NYU Langone’s Weight Management Program offers a variety of services that can help you make positive changes in order to lose weight and improve your health.

Our Research and Education in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Learn more about our research and professional education opportunities.