Having COPD doesn’t mean being confined to your home, even if you’re on oxygen therapy you can get out if you feel up to it. A little planning and preparation will make outings less stressful, both physically and mentally, so be smart about what you do and when you do it by following these tips:

  • Check the weather. Hot, humid, windy days are best spent indoors, as are rainy and very cold days.

  • Avoid large crowds. Plan shopping trips on weekday mornings, for example, when the stores are less crowded.

  • Assess your energy. Plan your outings for the time of day when you feel most energetic.

  • Be prepared. Always carry a full day’s supply of meds with you, just in case. If you’re on oxygen, make sure you have a reserve tank in the car.

  • Have a plan for eating out. Look for small portion offerings, or ask to have half your meal put in a to-go container. Other options: Split one meal with your companion, or look among the appetizers, where portion sizes usually are smaller.