Meet Exercise Adviser: Elizabeth Stowell (Part 1)

Thursday 25th May 2017

Hi, my name’s Elizabeth Stowell and I’ve worked in the fitness industry for more than 13 years. In this time I’ve been lucky enough to work as a Lifeguard, Fitness Instructor, Personal Trainer, Studio Instructor, GP Exercise Referral Adviser, Cardiac Rehab Specialist and Supervisor. At the moment I supervise three ladies gyms.

I have worked with a variety of COPD patients throughout my career, both independently and in group exercise. The exercises I’ve put together for you here are all for use in the home or gym environment.

Exercise is an effective tool to improve COPD symptoms, quality of life and activities of daily living. Evidence suggests exercise may reduce inflammation and disease severity by reducing the stress on the pulmonary system.

Elizabeth Stowell (BA, PGCE, MSc)

Resistance Exercise

Recommendations for resistance exercise for individuals with COPD:

Frequency: 2-3 days per week
Intensity: Low weight
Time: 1-3 sets repeated 15-25 times

Type Of Exercise: Resistance bands can be used for home exercise (as shown). Individuals with COPD experience shortness of breath when performing activities of daily living involving the upper body. It is important to focus on the muscles of the shoulder girdle.


Resisted Lateral Raise
  1. Stand on an exercise band with one foot
  2. Use your shoulders to raise your arms
  3. Lower the handles slowly


Resisted Chest Press
  1. Wrap an exercise band around your back holding each end in your hands
  2. Extend your arms in front of you
  3. Slowly return your arms to the start position


It is strongly recommended that you consult with your clinician before beginning any exercise or exercise programme. Always seek guidance from a qualified exercise trainer and exercise safely at all times.