Van's exercise thread

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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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13 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Van,

    Thats brilliant!

    I need to loose weight also!

    One question........

    What is your heart rate up to when you are on the dreadmill?

    I have never been a big walker as I have dropped arches & my feet ache very quickly & have back problems so was thinking of an exercise bike!

    Keep going! You deserve a low fat :cupcake:

    Knitty x

    P.S. I am sending you a PM !!

    :lol: :cupcake:

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  • Posted

    Hi people,

    I am also interested in losing weight - aren't we all? Van your determination here is awesome and I hope some rubs off on me! I go to be assessed for another go at pulmonary rehab on 10th May. At present I am managing to walk downstairs once per day and lift a hand weight (2kg) three times with each hand and ............that's it!! I feel so useless compared to your level of commitment. My SOB is still troublesome but I am an eternal optimist and have decided the only way is up!

    Jacee

    xx

    (:tennis: :run: = me in 2 months!)

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  • Posted

    Well done Van that is fantastic!!! I am in awe! And to reach 1 mile 55yards (1.66 km) in 30 minutes after 5 weeks - you should feel so proud :wow:

    You are an inspiration to us all - yes keep posting your progress, it helps us all alongside you.

    :bubbly: Cheers

    Flossie xxxx

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  • Posted

    Blimey O'Reilly Jacee - 2kg weights!!! No wonder you can only do 3X with each hand! I'm still only using 1kg and will eventually go to 1.5 for a few weeks before I do 2kg! Don't rush into anything - just do little by little. Van
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  • Posted

    Van, unlike you I do not have any lady weights so borrow my sons and the smallest he has is 2kg (which he normally only uses as a top-up to the other weights!). Still, perhaps I will soon have enough muscle to do handstands? I doubt it, I couldn't do them when I was fit!!

    Jacee

    xx

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  • Posted

    Hi Van,

    How is it going this week?

    How many more miles have you walked!

    I have had a hectic few weeks & will PM you!

    I have been good & spent this weekend sorting out the spare bedroom does that count as exercise!!

    Take Care, Knitty x

    :cake: :cake:

    I thought you deserved 2 !!

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  • Posted

    Hi Kitty, great to hear from you, i'm trying to be quick today as am in 'flood damage' pongy wet room , will catch up at weekend love Van xx
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  • Posted

    I am walking tall. I AM A PERSON WHO TAKES EXERCISE I attended at the first of the pulmonary rehabilitation exercise groups yesterday and went through the ten set exercises (30 seconds on each to start with. Not much I know but a beginning). I had to use my oxygen and the drops in my saturation level were quite alarming at times (I am to go to the hospital on Monday for a new assessment). However, I did it! :tennis:

    Hope you will not give up but will continue striving to keep up with me Van! (and hope you got your flood sorted).

    Jacee

    xx

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  • Posted

    Just to give you lads and ladies some encouragement.

    I did pulmonary rehabilitation over 5 years ago; couldn't walk much at the time. Started slow and low weights.

    End of rehab was doing 1.5kg continued for further 6 weeks complimentary NHS (just with the exercise side of things), then went on to do gym 2/3 times pw + walking out on other days.

    5 years later - improved improved improved, breathe better, walk greater distance weights 3kg each hand, I'm strong with biceps and triceps, can achieve so much more than when I was first diagnosed.

    I've heard of some people able to come off the oxygen once they get themselves fitter, [b:64058ae1dc]after consultation with the professionals of course,[/b:64058ae1dc] this will not necessarily be the case for every individual, but for some getting fit with copd can be of greater benefit than once realised.

    Keep it up guys and gals

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  • Posted

    Hi 'visitor',

    thanks for the encouragement - and so glad to hear that you have reaped the benefit of exercise yourself. I find I have been letting things go the last few days - just couldn't face it when the weather was hot. I did go for an evening stroll when things were cooling down though, and I think the weather is about to break here tonight so I will get stuck in again tomorrow. Once again, thanks for the encouragement, Vanessa

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  • Posted

    20 WEEK UPDATE;

    In a few days it will be 20 weeks since I started on oxygen and got serious about daily exercise. There have, of course, been odd days missed here and there, and at one stage I missed a week or so. Overall though, I have stuck with it, mostly because I and those who know me have seen an obvious improvement in my mobility, mood, SOB levels and weight. That is not to say that I am anywhere near to being the best I can be, but I am a degree closer to it than I was those 20 weeks ago.

    I still try to do a mile every morning on the 'Dreadmill'. I hate having to do it and find it very hard work compared to the exercise bike, but I feel a great sense of achievement as I complete that mile - sweating, gasping and red faced! I also know that in addition to helping my heart, lungs, muscles etc, it uses up 150 calories :D It used to take an hour to recover from this, but now I'm ready to shower and dress after a 10 minute sit down with a drink of water. The rest of my morning is the usual housework stuff and a walk to the local grocers and back.

    Assuming I am at home in the afternoon, I try to do a straight 20 - 30 mins on the exercise bike, usually while watching the lunchtime news.

    The problem with this is \" numb bum syndrome\" - those saddles are a killer, although things are a little better since getting a gel saddle cover and on top of that, a small feather cushion. Sometimes I break it down into periodic 10 minute sessions.

    Every other day I do my 'girlie weights' for my upper body. Finally I have caught up with Jacee on this (I think) as I have progressed from my original 1kg to 2.5 kgs. This has been a challenge as my arms were really weak. Perseverance paid off and I now do three sets of 12 repitions on each exercise I do with them. I learned the hard way to precede these with lots of stretching (I've pulled a neck muscle a couple of times).

    One incentive to do what I can while I can, is the knowledge that I won't have space for the treadmill and bike when I move into my little bungalow, so I must 'make hay while the sun shines'.

    Right, current 'outcomes' for your perusal - ;

    1) SOB definitely not as severe. Have even forgotten my 02 once or twice going up/down stairs - though I usually realize as the SOB starts - but I'm not gasping like I used to.

    2) Weight loss has been slow and erratic - sometimes soul destroying- sticking like glue to a 1,200 - 1,300 cals per day and still sometimes go 2 weeks without losing an ounce! BUT the usual loss is 1lb a week with an occasional big drop of 3 or 4 pounds. Total lost so far - precisely 20 lbs, therefor despite the variations, it does average out at 1lb per week. Oddly, my vital stats - bust, waist, hips- are unchanged. However, my neck is slimmer, as are my upper arms and my upper abdomen. Which is great.

    3) I can now shower (if not washing hair) without 02, and only mild SOB.

    4) My treadmill gives time / distance/ speed etc readings. My distance walked at 6 minutes (as used to score in the BODE test), has improved from 120 feet (done under hospital supervision 20 weeks ago) to 330 meters every day on the treadmill! This has kept me going more than anything. Days when I really don't want to bother, I tell myself, just get on and do 6 minutes. Of course, by the time I've done that Im usually in the mood to carry on. The significance of this for my BODE index score, is that I have improved my walk score from a 4 to a 2 (remember, lower is better).

    I do aim to eventually get it to 350 meters in 6 minutes.

    Well, thats it for this 20 weeks. I hope to stick with it for another 20 and report again then. I do this to keep myself on the straight and narrow, to keep a long term record and eventually see how much improvement is possible and hopefully to encourage those thinking of doing the same.

    Lots of love to you all , Vanessa :zen:

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  • Posted

    Van you really are doing SOOOOOOOOOOO well. I am so proud of you. I completed my rehab last week (some weeks missed due to chest infections and later made up). Some exercises I found more difficult than others, especially using my legs. I did increase my step ups and walking on the spot and the dreadful \"sit to stand\" to about 2 minutes each over the eight weeks but I am pleased to say I managed to lift the other exercises higher, doing 4 - 6 minutes on each eventually. My final 6 minute walk showed an improvement of 90 metres from my first one (I am told that 50 metres is generally considered a good improvement). So I am well pleased and trying hard to stay motivated now I have to just do it alone. One drawback is my return to work (today) when I came home totally wiped out after just sitting at my desk for 5 hours. Hopefully this will soon improve but I did not feel able to do my exercise regime and feel such a wimp. But I will do slightly more over the weekend if I can.

    Keep it up Vanessa. I find your results inspiring and your weight loss amazing. I have had a recent chest infection and the steroids helped me gain another 6 pounds. I can't lose any no matter how hard I try!!!!! A pound a week is a good overall result and should be a level you can maintain. I wish you all the best in your endeavours. And, yes, you have caught up on the weights. 'smile'

    We must all remember that exercise, whilst not easy, has been shown to help us live longer as well as improving our quality of life.

    Jacee

    xx

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