Have you been spending your weekend on the couch, by the fire, with a cup of coffee, browsing your phone or laptop from morning to night? Don’t shut yourself at home for too long, especially for people with COPD. Your room is poorly ventilated because closed doors and windows prevent almost any air circulation. In such a closed space, carbon dioxide rapidly accumulates and oxygen concentration decreases as you exhale, making breathing harder and harder. Even worse, if you use a wood-burning fireplace, the smoke it emits can aggravate your breathing problems and put your life in extreme danger. So, if you are staying at home, don’t forget to open the windows occasionally to improve the air quality. And what about a better choice? For example, planning a picnic with your family or friends on a sunny day!
Benefits of picnic
As we have discussed in other blogs, outdoor activities like picnics can do a great favor to keep you mentally and physically healthy. The benefits include but are not limited to the following.
Fresh air may have already become one of the scarcest resources in our daily life. That is why it is the most treasured benefit of a picnic, especially for COPD patients. A picnic can provide better air quality than most other outdoor activities since it usually takes place far from downtown. When you go on a picnic, you get the air filled with sufficient oxygen produced by the plants as well as the wondrous scents of flowers, grass, and trees.
The whole process of a picnic consists of a series of mild physical exercises of low intensity which are perfectly suitable for COPD patients. You will have to do some walking or cycling on your way to the destination, and stretch your body while packing things and tidying up. these help with your blood circulation and let your heart provide more oxygen to your body. Other benefits can include strengthened bones, joints, respiratory and body muscles.
Improved mental state:
COPD patients tend to have a higher chance of going through negative emotions like sadness or fear due to physical challenges. A picnic can be a great relaxation since it diverts your attention from your physical problems and let you enjoy the present. Fortunately, You will find yourself gradually regaining the joy of life.
Another important aspect of a picnic is how it helps you build and strengthen relationships. Connecting with others and getting involved in group activities are good resolutions to prevent the feeling of loneliness and inferiority. When you go on a picnic with friends or family, you are provided with a perfect chance to talk and confess without distraction, even late into the night. Others’ understanding and encouragement can be a great alleviation.
Connection with nature:
Lives of COPD patients are rather restricted. There are limitations on things they can do and places they can go to. You may easily lose hope in such a life in which joy and new experiences can hardly be found. However, When you go on a picnic, you get a chance to get in touch with nature, encounter various wildlife and see the stars away from the bright lights of the big city. All are new and fantastic experiences that can infuse vitality into your life.
Away from the crowd:
Crowded paces usually mean extremely poor air quality. It is even more dangerous to get into a crowd during the COVID-19 epidemic and flu season. Picnic is perhaps the outdoor activity with the lowest risk of being infected by any virus for every participant can maintain social distancing, especially if they bring their food and serving wares.
How to choose a picnic spot
It shouldn’t be hard to choose an ideal spot for your picnic. Your mind must be filled with lots of options that are romantic and beautiful. But there are still a few tips to keep in mind:
- Find a place with some shade so you can rest in the daytime. You may also want to avoid places that are too windy, sandy, or without any facilities nearby. Good choices can be under a big tree, in a wooded area by a lake, or in public gardens with a profusion of flowers and other plants.
- Consider transportation. Don’t choose anywhere too far or takes too much energy to get to. You are going out to relax, not for endurance training.
- Think about the activities you would like to do during the picnic. Some activities may have specific requirements for landscapes or facilities. Consider these in advance.
- Also, picnics don’t always have to be during the day. A late-day picnic in the golden evening light, and watching the sunset are also fascinating. An evening picnic for stargazing can be even more romantic.
What to bring for a picnic
There are certain necessary items for a picnic: serving wares, plates, napkins, glasses, and food and drink, of course. Choose the proper type of these items according to what you are going to eat.
Certainly, you can be creative in your choice of food. Think about what you need for the special activities you planned and the picnic spot you chose. Some facilitating equipment and gadgets can include sunscreen, an umbrella, insect repellent, hand sanitizer or wipes, band-aids, garbage bags, etc.
A good companion for COPD.
For people with COPD, especially those who are on oxygen therapy, it is always a good idea to be prepared for any emergency even though a picnic is an activity of low intensity. A lightweight and compact portable oxygen concentrator that can last for 2 hours on the battery is your best choice. It won’t add any burden to you. Whenever you feel any discomfort, use the concentrator for a few breaths of high-concentration oxygen can alleviate the symptoms so that you can continue to enjoy a great time.
Once make up your mind on what to take, pack these things up and you are ready to go. Have a great time!