exercise re copd

I read that exercise is good for copd, I have mild copd at the moment, I started a Pilates class once a week, also bought an exercise bike, tried it for the first time tonight, ten minutes on the lowest setting and as soon as I finished my chest tightened right up and now I can hardly breath, is this a common reaction to exercise?

19 Replies

  • Exercise is vital for anyone with COPD but I would suggest that everyone first needs to check with their GP as to what they should be aiming for and any exercises they should avoid. Good luck.

  • Hi lucyannie yes exercise is good for you I go to the gym twice a week, don't know about the tight chest as this as not happened to me perhaps you should only do five min, I also have heard that Pilates is very good so keep it up lol xx

  • Yes I was flagging after 5 mins, but made myself go on to 10, should have listened to my body and stopped at 5 I think!! I enjoy the Pilates though, definitely recommend it xx

  • may I ask what exercise you do at the gym twice a week?

  • I do the treadmill 15min the rowing maching 10 min the bike the hand bike 5min the leg press on 70 K the weights at 3 k I also have a personal trainer that keeps a check on me this is all run by the council in mid Devon they also do the Pilate classes oh an I'm just coming to the end of my P R which you should go to lol x

  • Think I have a long way to go to catch up with you!! x

  • Use it or lose it they say! I think you should be very careful when it comes to exercise.....I just finished a Pulm.Rehab. course, I enjoyed it and actually met a fellow Alpha, which was nice....then they referred me to the local gym' but after only two sessions I am suffering with a bad back, I don't think I'll be going back somehow.....! :D

  • Oh didn't you have someone to keep a check on you seeing you was doing it right lol x

  • Hi Lucyannie If your not used to exercising even if you are mild copd start off slow and build -up eh.Pilates sound good.Well done you. :) Janexx

  • Hi thank you, I've only recently been diagnosed, I've got appointment with a consultant at the hospital in December, hoping to get a CT scan to see exactly what's going on, in the mean time thought I should get on with some exercise, tonight got on exercise bike for the first time, didn't warm up first and then pushed myself too far, stupid hey!! result - wheezy tight chest, took one and a half hours and 3 puffs on the ventolin to get back to normal!! tomorrow will be better :-) xx

  • Hi Lucieannie, I recently did the PR course run by the NHS. It would be goor if you could get a referral from either your GP, respiratory nurse or consultant. On it you learn how to build up your exercise and breathing techniques both during and after exercising. They taught me to breath in slowly through nose as deeply into the lungs as poss then out slowly through mouth. It really works. He talked me through it the 1st time it worked so well I've done it ever since only now I do it during exercise so don't end up in a state.

    Pr, pulmonary rehab, if you can get on one, failing that then have a look for clips of diaphragm breathing on YouTube.

    All the best

  • Thank you so much, I will ask my GP about PR course, also seeing a consultant in December, so will start on clips on YouTube :-)

  • True lucyannie, exercise is good for COPD but should be accessed what is best for the individual by a pulmonary rehab assessment and some of us will have to do less due to other illness. Go gradual and build up your exercise is best and take care when you have a cold or chest infection, good luck with the exercise plan

  • Yes lucyannie, you must see your doctor befor you exorcise, also it's a good idea to try yoga for your breathing technique. Good luck.

  • Hi lucyannie, brilliant you are being so proactive so soon after your diagnosis. Like everyone else says, check your fitness to exercise with your GP and try for a PR referral. If you are consistently exercising you will gradually be able to do more and more. When I was diagnosed I could hardly walk and would have to keep resting on the flat, let alone on gradients. Now I can walk a couple of miles, and climb my stairs up and down 4 times without stopping, which is what i do when the weather is too bad to be walking outside. (I have severe COPD with fev1 last time taken of 37%).

    When you ask your GP for a PR referral, s/he may say its not normally given for people with mild COPD - i think this varies in different localities - so you could try pointing out that the education and self-management advice you will get there, together with the exercise help, will keep your condition stable and be cost efficient to the NHS in the long run ;) (it's usually a matter of resources!) PR is part of the standard N.I.C.E pathway management of COPD.

    Don't try to do too much too soon; if you are exercising regularly you can't help but have your fitness improve. Just remember to warm up before you start and take time with cool down with stretches, gentle walking on the spot afterwards. Maybe that would help with the chest tightening up that you describe. All the best :) jean

  • i did 6 minutes on my bike yesterday ,world record for me ,mind I was well and truly puffticated.

  • Hi Lucyannie, good for you! Exercise is the single most important help for COPD. Although certain exercises are better than others. Yes I agree with others, ask for a referral for Pulmonary Rehab. although be prepared you may be too fit as I nearly was ( I have moderate-severe COPD). When I had completed the course and continued the exercises at home I then had the best winter in 10 years. So my advice is

    Ask your GP pr practice nurse for a referral to Pulmonary Rehab.

    Check with the BLF is there is a respiratory exercise instructor local to you?

    Carry on with gym, take it easy and don't push it.

    Try the DVD Functional fitness for COPD and Asthma. I bought mine from Amazon. Although the exercises on the DVD are relatively simple, you could try them standing up.

    Finally, good luck, keep healthy and well :-)

  • Sorry Lucyannie, haha, you are not at the gym! Keep up with the Pilates and exercise bike :-)

  • Hi

    Have a look at


    This is was given to me the PR class, for home use.

    I also use a excercise bike and dumbells.

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