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low peak flow

I am 86 years old and for the past 40 years or so have been diagnosed with COPD. My height is 65 inches and weight 9 stone. My peak flow is usually about 260. It has been around this value for the past 40 years. I take 2 puffs a day of beclamethasone. I run twice a week over about 3 miles across country taking 1 puff of Ventolin before the start. It does not increase my peak flow noticeably. My breathing is very comfortable and I don't seem to get breathless until I come to a steep hill where I work hard to try to get my heart rate up to about around 140. I then go down the hill and back up again and push myself close to my limit to try to get my heart rate up to 145. occasionally I feel a bit lazy and peak at about 135 and finish my run hardly out of breath.

From what I have read my peak flow suggests I should be gasping for breath at just a moderate walk. Does anyone have any idea why my peak flow is low but my breathing is fine?

4 Replies

Hi everyone is different and it sounds like you are fit. If you are feeling fine then I wouldn't worry about it. One thing though - you need to exercise to the point of being too out of breath to be able to sing but not to talk. This is your optimum exercise level. Any less than that and you won't get the full benefit. Any more is pointless, wont' make that much difference and might put you off exercising. x


I heard of the television program Body Hack with Todd Sampson where he learns to push his body in remarkable circumstances. In one of these he trains to be a Sherpa in Mt Everest. There was mention of how they were able to continue working in the difficult environment of Mt Everest with reduced oxygen. I didn't see the program but I believe he trained so he could also work with reduced oxygen. There maybe some answers for you in the program.


I think you are an inspiration to anyone with Asthma/COPD! Don't get hung up on peak flows - they don't seem to be much of a guide to symptoms or severity, as your case clearly shows. Keep up the good work and stay well!

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Reply do you manage the cross country run ankles these days couldn't stand the strain of uneven ground just walking ....... You are so lucky.


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