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Hi folks, decided this while I was on my Dreadmill just now. Each week or two I will post how my exercise is going - for the following reasons:
1) It will stop me from slacking off if I know I have to publicly update (a bit like weight watchers)
2) It will serve as a record for me to look back on periodically and measure progress.
3) It may give someone else the incentive to exercise more.
I am sat here red faced and literally dripping wet , but with a silly big grin on my face because I've reached a new milestone of 1 mile 55yards (1.66 km) in 30 minutes, apparently having burnt about 125 calories.
So as not to put others off I would add that I started off what will be 5 weeks ago tomorrow (day I got my 02) managing just 2 minutes . Todays 1+ mile was easier than that first 2 minutes! I would add that distance and endurance have been my goal rather than speed, although speed is increasing gradually as a 'by product'. Todays achievement will now be tomorrow's minimum, and I shall try to do even just 10 more yards or an extra minute or two.
For others in the lower end of moderate / serious stage of copd I would highly recommend using a fingertip pulse oxymeter during exercise of any kind. Being able to monitor my 02 level and heart rate has given me the confidence and security to be able to push myself 'flat out' without having to worry about heart attacks or 02 starvation! Also, although I am on 2LPM and stay at that when I begin exercising, I do turn it up to 3LPM if I find i'm dropping down to say 90%. ie I do my best to stay in the 92% - 94% range. That way I know my breathlessness is just that, and not an 02 problem.
Don't forget to chose a mix of exercise types. Later I will do a few minutes here and there of bl-cep curls etc with my 'ladyweights' to start conditioning my upper body. Also chose what suits you. Before I got the treadmill I did 'step ups' for a minute or two each day at the bottom of the stairs, side bends and 'weights' with full bottles of water. Music helps keep me going too!
My long term aims are to lose weight healthily, reduce (or eliminate?) SOB (shortness of breath), possibly eliminate the need for 02, and possibly raise my FEV1 by a few points.
I know everyone says you can't improve lung function but I believe differently (but you have to work at it). I know obese healthy people have poor lung function, I know healthy but inactive people don't have the same lung capacity as a 'sporty' person. I also have read that doing serious daily long term upper body exercises with weights can improve Diaphragm strength and function, which in turn helps breathing. So by my reckoning, if we get to the stage where we are physically the best we can be and at the right weight, we should get the best FEV1 we can.
I will be my own guinea pig in this. My FEV1 is 29% pre med. It is in the 40's post med. Post med FEV1 can vary slightly depending on how long you took it before testing etc. but pre med FEV1 usually stays the same or deteriorates a few points. If I stick with the serious exercise and have significant weight loss I shall stop my meds for a few weeks and have a spirometry test to check for improvement. (The reason for stopping them for a few weeks is because Symbicort for example takes about 3 weeks to build up and take effect when you start taking it, so I will need to taper it off for quite a while to get a 'clean' pre med FEV1 reading.
My future progress posts will be brief summaries I promise - just wanted to explain it all to start - just wish I had the courage to post my weight too but its so extreme I just can't face it. Let's just say I've gained 5 dress sizes and leave it at that! :oops: Love Van x
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