COPD advice

Hi there

My name is Pauline and I have joined your chats to discuss exercise and COPD. I have had COPD for a number of years I have 25% lung function remaining so not very active but would love to hear from others how they deal with exercise with a similar lung function. At present the day to day home chores are about my limit, biggest challenge up and down stairs 😁 Gardening is my passion pottering when the weather is good on a good day when the huffing and puffing isn't too extreme. Medication is inhalers two different types, apparently oxygen therapy isn't an option as my blood levels at my last annual check up were said to be normal and yet I see many gadgets and aperatus that encourage oxygen use to make exercise possible how I long to go for a good long walk and get the much needed exercise my body needs.

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Hi and welcome

Sounds like your doing pretty well for excersise really.

But garden is biggest sourse of bad lung bugs

You get bad lung bugs working in the garden???

I have never heard that. I'm newly diagnosed and still early stage emphysema.

My favourite activity in the world is my garden but not so much that I'll put myself at risk. 😒

Lot people don't know esp kids with asthma who love grass and sunny days.

Anyway here is interesting read

Hi Pauline.

I'm glad you're here but of course not why. I do a lot of gentle walking with lots of rests when I feel I need to. At pulmonary rehab my therapist is doing some easy exercises with me that I can do at home. Have you ever been to PR? It's really hard to be active when you can't catch your breath. I so understand. Please do give us updates as to how you are. I hear it's a hot couple of days in the UK. (If that's where you are). So do take it easy.

Much love,

Cas xx πŸŒΉπŸŒ»πŸŒΈπŸŒΌπŸŒ²πŸŒ³πŸŒ΄πŸ€πŸŒ±

hi Pauline. ..and name is Andy. ..Andy the gardener ☺. ..

there is bugs and germs in the garden...I don't know of anywhere that there isn't.

the washing of hands for as guys is probably one of the most important things we can do to help prevent infections. ..

you carry on enjoying your garden..hope to see some photos of it soon..


I have emphysema and went down to 28% lung function after seeing consultant and being prescribed the latest medication in my case spiolto respimat my lung function went up to 40%. I have been on a pulmonary rehab course, and a pulse course at the local gym which I have now joined and go to at least twice a week. I also bought a Fitbit to count the steps I take. I have slowly built up to 10000 steps a day. I don't have asthma so I don't have any problem with gardening it's the artificial perfumes that affect my breathing, candles aftershave perfumes, air freshener etc, these are all the devils invention for me.

I think that all I'm saying is that to stop yourself getting worse you have to take control, find out if you're on the most suitable medication for your particular diagnosis and try and get it in a mist inhaler and not a dry powder. Then do as much exercise as you can and remember that SOB is normal when you exercise. Take it slowly but do not give up everything you can do is good for you and may slow the progression of this b****y awful disease.

Wow 10,000 steps a day is awesome, I wish I was at half of that.

Hello Pauline and welcome to our friendly little forum. You sound as if you are heading in the right direction, carry on gardening to your hearts content. Obviously everything takes longer but we get there in the end. Looking forward to hearing more from you.

Love S. Xx

Hi Pauline, I know where you're coming from as every little thing makes me short of breath. Enjoy your garden take time to stop now and then and admire your handy work then start again. Pace yourself, but please don't give up on of life's little pleasures. Maybe you should wear a filter mask and see how you get on. Yes and do make sure you wash your hands!! Good luck Pauline and welcome to the group xxx

Great minds think alike. xx

Gardening is a must for you to continue. However there is a myriad of bugs and bacteria which can cause issues if you have a lung condition. I recommend you buy a nose and mouth guard/cover. Your local chemist should have them. THEN garden on regardless. Gerald.

hi Gerald. .your right ofcouse. ..but you have to use your loaf. .depending on what your doing in the garden. ..I do sometimes wear a mask...nothing to fancy mind you...when there is dust from clearing and so on...

how are you mate...not seen or heard from you for ages...miss your posts. ..

I have been busy working and lots of other drama. But I am afraid you will see more of me in the future. Cheers. Gerald.


Hi Gerald....good πŸ˜‚ xx

I think it is as important to look after the mind as well as the body, and gardening is good for our mental well being. My gardening often only consists of a small can of water here and there for needy plants, dead heading and generally keeping an eye on things. If there is a heavy job needs doing, I wait for a volunteer!

Welcome to our group, I get a lot of pleasure just reading about other folks good days and how they cope with bad days. Iris x

Many thanks must say I am new to health unlocked and I am finding comfort in other people's views and advice 😊

Hi Pauline. I was diagnosed with emphysema in 2006 and at that time I had difficulty in getting up a flight of stairs. I was frightened of going out etc because I thought I would run out of breath. I was sent to Pulmonary Rehab and there I learnt to start small and build up slowly. It took a little while but I got back to having a near normal life. I exercise regularly going to a gym three times a week now. I have a personal trainer once a week or so for an hours session. He knows of my condition and he pushes me to my limit. And I keep trying to do more every time. Without the exercise my breathing gets steadily worse. It's not easy but it's worth it. So best of luck with your exercising.


Thank you for your time think It's obvious I must make more of an effort to get myself in an exercise program and look at pulmonary rehab. I do all my own housework and gardening but pace myself of course, but would love to step out further and go for a much loved walk. 😊

Another keen gardener here with a Fev 23%. I keep hand gel around the house as well as washing frequently. Still mowing the lawns in a large garden, just a lot of pauses to admire what grows. If I have a really mucky job I wear Tesco's heavy duty black gloves. Today it is planting out the next batch of lettuces. A kneeler with handles to push back up on stops me getting too breathless. And I turn it over and sit for a bit if I need to. We all invent little ways to keep doing what we love.

Gosh well done on 23% I struggle on 25 may be less now haven't had this years spirometry yet, just goes to show pushing yourself helps I have noticed the more I do the better I feel if I have sat for an hour I feel it when I make a move again thanks for the encouragement. 😊

I was assessed yesterday for PR and told I was going into the "top group". I was well-flattered. Went flat-out on the walk test and felt pretty good for the rest of the day. I am looking forward to the classes. Maybe there is a new woman in me yet!

Well done I think it's down to getting out there and getting on with it, I often have to tell myself to just get on with it and not feel sorry for myself.😘

I am encouraged. I've had bronchiectasis since '07, and 25%. I think I'll find out about PR! Thanks

All the pollen will not help your condition,can I suggest you ask your GP for a referral to pulmary rehab ,where you build up your exersise levels and get lots of imformation about you r health and how to deal with your condition ,

Hi Pauline my lung function is higher than yours but I walk at least four times a day, I will say it is difficult to start with but if u keep walking and you get oxygen in your lungs it does get easier. Just take it slowly start by doing small walks and build it up xx

Could you get a PR referral Ef0lumps? At my most recent course there were people at all stages of copd, and all improved.

Yes think at my next check up will look into the PR referral seems it will be a benefit.

Hi Pauline


My lung function is higher than yours, but l do get breathless if l lay off the exercise for a short while.

I walk a lot, as briskly as possible, and have regular stops to get my breath back, and l always take my Ventolin inhaler with me, just incase !

I also go swimming, a good thing for all round exercise, but some days the chlorine smell gets to me.

Just remember, to achieve a good long walk, you have to start off with lots of regular little will gradually find you will be going further and further.....Don't forget to leave enough energy to get back πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Good Luck


Yes need to get some confidence and step out will take it in stages round the garden first Winter round the corner always makes me want to hybernate so will get out while the weather reasonable. 😊

Hi Polly,

Good luck sweetheart. It is great that you are doing exercise and remember to keep the garden bugs at bay with a light mask.

Some great advice above - just want to say welcome

Thank you 😊

have you tried pulmonary rehab,I have just been on a course and there was a lady there with the same lung function as yourself. She really benefited from the course and certainly surprised herself. You are doing great with exercise at the moment,but rehab is certainly worth a visit.😊 xxx

Certainly looking that way thank you 😊

Buy a pack of balloons and blow several up 3/4 times a day - nice easy exercise for your lungs and I find that it really helps xx

Hello Pauline and fellow forum posters. I joined this forum because my father was diagnosed with COPD quite a few years ago and has steadily been going downhill with his breathing and his quality of life, despite all the different inhalers and drugs that he has been prescribed with and sometimes experimented with.

Thankfully though he has recently shown a sharp change in his lung capacity which we believe is due in a small part, to his rehab classes (which he has had before and made a small difference to his breathing then too), but more importantly we feel that a natural supplement has helped him so much that I cannot believe that it is not handed out to all sufferers, because it must cost a fraction of the cost of the drugs. Maybe therein lies the problem?

I was on the look out for something natural that could possible help him out a little, by helping his body to fight the illness as naturally as possible. I started looking on the internet in earnest when my dad's latest cocktail of drugs had an adverse effect making his hands swell up and giving him bad headaches. Thankfully my dad stopped taking those tablets five or six months ago and his hands and head went back to normal, although he did still get a lot of headaches, which he attributed mainly to the lack of oxygen in his body.

I searched through all sorts of sites which discussed stem cell treatments, German machines, Chinese medicines and so on, but one thing that kept cropping up and was supported heavily by people that have used it successfully, was MSM. It is a naturally occurring compound which was always found in abundance in our food, vegetables, fruits and meat, until we started using artificial fertilisers, which vastly reduce the amount of MSM in our diet. I will not go into all the ins and outs of this wonderful substance because there are thousands of sites out there which describe all the wonderful things that it does, but I will tell you that it has made a huge difference to my dad's breathing and quality of life.

My dad use to walk the same route with us (my wife and I) every couple of weeks throughout the year and over the last four or five years, from a parking spot (thanks to his disabled badge) to the football ground. In the last couple of years my dad has had to take to using his oxygen bottle and now uses it every match, but whether he was using his oxygen or not, we would stop three or four times on the way there and three or four times on the way back.

A good site which explains the basics is this one..

I hope you find this helpful and I really hope that everybody who reads this gives it a go and gets some benefits from it.

Best wishes to all,

Phil X

Hi Phil, the link you've given is for a book published in 2002. Is there any more up-to -date information, showing evidence of medical/scientific investigations ?

Very interesting always good to look at what's on offer out there and looks like you have done some research into the matter will take a look at the website maybe we'll worth a try ( what's to lose) Thanks for passing it on. 😊

Hello copddaddyo, My name is Kim (2pray4us) I understand about the headaches you are talking about, I used to get those same headaches and I thought it was from my lack of oxygen, come to find out its from the carbon monoxide is my body from using a -cpap machine, so now I use a by- pap machine and I don't have headaches anymore. The c-pap machine was pushing too much in me too fast, with, by- pap it comes out slower. Tell your dad to try that, maybe it will help. Have a blessed day.

I have just read wikipedia on MSM. No scientific proof, mostly associated with osteoarthritis. Did say something like found in melanoma cells?


I'm surprised that no-one has given you oxygen - I've had it for years now. Still, the only real treatment for emphysema is exercise, so do what you're doing, do a bit more and you will find that you can do even more. Hang in there.


Yes I thought oxygen might be my answer to being able to do more but my oxygen blood levels are not low enough on average My readings are over 90 but do occasionally fall below 90 so I think I must carry on and battle with exercise and just get my but out of the chair 😬

Hello Pauline, Like you I have COPD and have had it for more years than I can remember following Sarcoid (an autoimmune disease), sadly I went undiagnosed for many years until 1999 when I had an MI. I do blame myself a bit as I had been a smoker for about 20 years before giving up. Three days after quitting I had the heart attack - apparently it's well documented that this can occur. Unfortunately it was complicated by pneumonia! ..... I'm still here though.

What concerns me is that Asthma and COPD are often treated as one and the same by the medical profession - they're not! I gather that you have different inhalers so I will ask my GP for an alternative to Ventolin which doesn't work anyway. I do sympathise as I too have a passion for gardening and love to potter, despite sounding more like a steam engine! Stairs are a real bind and admittedly, I'm getting on a bit at 79 - I find that the breathlessness curtails many other activities - even housework!

On the 'up' side, at least we can both potter in our gardens even if we puff. This high humidity doesn't help much though.

Kind regards,


Hi Pauline, I was diagnosed with copd 8 years ago and gradually got worsening symptoms. From the doctor I get antihistamine, salamol easy breath, this is a quick fix inhaler. Salmeterol inhaler, this lasts for 12 hours, clenil modulate inhaler which is steroid, the salmeterol Has to be taken with the steroid inhaler. I mostly keep the symptoms under control but I wanted to be more active and start swimming, just half length had me gasping for air, I then discovered NAC it is a food supplement that supports lung function, find it on Amazon or eBay. This helps with my breathing a lot, I then found that lucozade sports,( it has to be sports) contains an ingredient that opens the airways. These things have changed my life, after only 3 months I can swim 4 lengths and I'm doing quite well on the treadmill and other gym equipment. Hope this is some help to you.

Thank you will look into NAC And do some research my salbutamol inhaler should last 12 hours they tell me but it only gives me relief for 6 hours so anything to give me a boost might help 😊

How much NAC do you take a day as I have heard that some dosages do nothing and that it needs to be the right dosage so wondered how much you took?

Thank you

The recommended dosage is one tablet between meals twice per day. I only take one in the morning before going to the gym, this seems to be all I need for the day.


I also have had COPD though in the form of bronchiectasis (disease of the lung), and about 25% function too. I have the o2, two inhalers, and 3x week azithromiacin. Probably due to disease, I go down to about 85% o2 level without o2. I too would like exercises, but think I may be reduced to stretches and yoga.

Stretches or yoga it's better than nothing think it's knowing your limitations do only what you feel comfortable with I say every little bit helps. . 😊

It's like hearing myself talk. I'm in a similar boat. I am on oxygen 24/7 and trying to maintain a quality of existence. Life is good and could always be better. I'm thankful for what I've got.

I am the same as two above. I am on O2 24/7 but I have gone back to the pool but I walk lengths. The reason for this is because I don't have the use of my right arm. But I have a free way of breathing exercises and no powders or pills. SINGING it works for me :))

Hi Pauline,

I'm trying to figure out a new COPD/exercise routine myself. I'm down to around 33% lung function (although I go in for fresh testing in three weeks so we'll see if that number holds). I've recently been prescribed supplemental oxygen to use while exercising to keep my blood sats from dropping down into the "how are you still standing?" range. That still puzzles me. I've seen my numbers drop down into the low 70's (my personal best is 67%) and yet I've never felt dizzy or lightheaded or had my fingers turn blue or anything like that. I guess there's more about my physiology that I just don't understand.

Anyway, I posted elsewhere on this forum how my oxygen concentrator was a bit of problem because it had an alarm that goes off when it detects more than 35 breaths a minute. Not really designed for exercise in a public gym, is it? But then I discovered another factor I hadn't planned on--running into people I haven't seen in awhile when I'm wearing the cannula. This is all new to me (and apologies to those folks who are on oxygen 24/7 and who will probably read this and wonder rightly what's he got to complain about--you're right, I shouldn't be complaining). But I am. Like I say, this is all new to me and a bit of a major life adjustment. I don't mind having my family and circle of close friends see me with the cannula on, but it's different when I run into somebody that I know that I don't see regularly, or haven't seen in awhile. Case in point, at the gym the other night I ran into a couple of kids my son went to grade school with. Haven't seen them for years. Now they're towering teenagers. I barely recognized them, but they knew me. I run into them as I'm climbing off the exercise bike and I got these freaking tubes in my nose. What do you do? Say, oh you're probably wondering about this tubing. Let me tell you about my personal medical history? I don't really want to have to do that. So I don't say anything about it at all and leave them to probably go back to their parents and report that they ran into Thomas' dad and he looks like he's dying or something. Who knows what they said? And yes, should I care? Probably not, but it still bugs me.

So what's this got to do with exercise? I found a solution for both problems. I quit the gym and used the money I saved to buy an exercise bike for my garage. Now I can get my 30 minutes of aerobics in AND I don't have to worry about that damn alarm going off AND I can hawk up all the phlegm I want, any time I want while I'm exercising. (I have bronchiectasis, so I'm all about coughing up phlegm. And exercise knocks it loose. That's another reason why it's so good for us.) And I don't have to worry about running into my kids' friends and having to explain what bronchiectasis is. (I get real tired of that.)

Only problem now is I have to clear all the junk out of my garage so I have room for that damn bike. <sigh> It's always something....

Many thanks for your input I am very curious about oxygen therapy and have asked my doctor if it would be of help to me she tells me my oxygen level is sufficient for now , but I would like to do more in the way of exercise and feel oxygen is the only way I can do that by use of an oxygen concentrator. I know I would feel the same as you do wearing it I would feel very self conscious but surely the benefits would be a plus. I was diagnoised with osteoporosis due to lack of exercise and use of steroids my doc said I MUST exercise more Not sure how that's possible, but will keep trying . 😊

Good on you for continuing to try. It's not easy to keep the exercise going, especially when we're short of breath. But if I've learned anything from this site (and others) it's that exercise is crucially important. Use it or lose it. So every little bit we can do is worth the effort. Good luck!

Hello Pauline, how are you? My name is Kim (2 pray 4 us). I totally understand how you feel. I too breathe only 24 percent of my lungs, and yes it can really get the best of you sometimes, but we have to be grateful to be here. I try to do daily exercise , but some days I cant, and yes the steps are my worst enemy. Lol I too long for long walks. I miss out on a lot of events with my family because of the length of time the oxygen tanks last and the amount of breathing treatments I take. I tell myself that this too shall pass. God has blessed man to cure many diseases and help with many types of bodily injuries so our time will also come. Just thank him and ask him to help you with the wait! Lol Take care and God Bless you

Hi There

Thanks for the encouragement we must all do the best we can and be thankful. I am not yet on the oxygen therapy so have some freedom to get out and about when my husband is available to play taxi, we must be thankful we are here to chat about it, such lovely people offering so much advice is a comfort. Goodluck and take care.

Personally I think exercise = a desire to do more exercise. I go to the gym on my silver sneakers program USA . I go 5 days a week two of the days I do senior chair yoga and three days a week I do weights. Every day I walk on the treadmill a couple mile a day.. It is very good for me!

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