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Interstitial Lung Disease: Conserving Energy

When you have interstitial lung disease, it may be hard for you to breathe. Conserving your energy can help you stay active and breathe better. Simplify tasks and pace yourself to do more without getting short of breath.

Man and woman, preparing salad.

Simplify Tasks

  • Sit whenever possible, and keep your arms close to your body. Use slow, smooth motions.

  • Keep the things you use most at waist level, so you can get them without reaching or bending.

  • Use assistive devices such as electric can openers, tongs, long-handled or power tools, and automatic appliances.

  • Use lightweight, nonstick pots and pans to cook. Soak, rather than scrub, dirty dishes. Air-dry dishes, or use a dishwasher.

  • Mix, cook, serve, and store foods in the same dish.

  • Use a cart with wheels to move dishes and other household items.

Pace Yourself

  • Plan your time so that your tasks are spaced throughout the day.

  • Alternate between hard tasks and easy ones. And allow plenty of time so that you don’t have to hurry.

  • Take 20–30 minute rest breaks after meals and throughout the day.

  • Sit on a bench to bathe. Use warm, not hot, water. Dry off by wrapping yourself in a terrycloth robe.

  • Sit to dress and undress, shave, brush your teeth, and comb your hair.

  • Ask the checker to pack grocery bags so they are light and easy to carry.


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