British Lung Foundation

Pulmonary Rehabilitation, did it help?

I finished my PR a couple of weeks ago, I must admit, at the time, I could not tell if I had improved or not as I was I was already leading a very active lifestyle. My 6 min walk test had improved only slightly and was a little disappointed, but I am also 25% heavier than at my assessment.

Knowing that my PR was near it's end I have turned my son's old bedroom into a home mini-gym and have installed, a rowing machine, a static exercise bike and a treadmill. I mean to carry on an exercising regime at home.

This week saw a break in the cold weather and my partner had a one of her days off yesterday. So last night we went out for a meal at a pub, a couple of miles away, for the first time in about a year. We walked to the local bus stop, I managed this without stopping, 600 yards on an upward slope! At the end of the bus journey there was a 1/4 mile walk to the pub, amazingly despite having to use a subway to cross 6 lanes of road and another uphill slope, again I managed this without stopping. We each had steak & ale pie, mash and carrots and 3 pints of ale.

I thought afterwards that I had made a drastic error when it was time to leave, a full stomach does not help breathing at all. I had to stop after only 100 yards and again after another 100 yards, after which some of my meal had moved a little lower in my stomach and some of the beer into my bladder, making breathing easier. Made it back to the bus stop after that, in one go and... to my dismay a couple of girls are smoking, in the shelter. The next bus was due in 20 mins., Sharon was about to chastise them for it but I stopped her and said "come on, let's go to the next stop along, it's not worth causing trouble" (the girls around here are just as bad as the boys, if not worse) "we have 20 mins. to kill". The next stop is another 1/4 mile away, I made it without stopping again. Then followed a 600 yard walk and 3 flights of stairs to home.

Both of us needed the loo by this time. But of course Sharon beat me up the stairs and I had to wait.

So did PR do me any good? You bet it did, I cannot believe the difference that it has made, a few months ago it was all I could do to walk 50 yards without having to give up.

I now have my freedom back, I can walk a reasonable distance again. Albeit that I have swallowed my pride and use a walking stick to help push myself up a slopes. Note to self "I'm not a teenager any more no matter what my brain tells me".

A public thank you, to the Solent COPD Team.

12 Replies

Great news 2greys and well done to you for your determination. Best wishes to you. Xxxx


Hello 2greys,

what a brilliant and uplifting post. Proof that PR works. I think I feel almost as happy as you. Yes, got your life back.

Don't think I could contain three pints of anything though without a stop!



So pleased to hear such positive feedback. Really happy for you, but you're do have to keep it up. I've joined the gym, and am enjoying getting into a different environment (I see enough of work and home, lol), but I do have treadmill, step, trampette, weights etc at home as backup. Enjoy your newfound fitness, and good luck. XXX


I can almost feel your delight 2greys, what a lovely surprise for you.

I haven't walked very far for a few months now due to Fibro and I'm very aware of my loss of stamina. and shorter breath.

Your post has reminded me to pull my finger out xx


Now this is so good to hear, my doctor has referred me to pulmonary rehab today, I was quite upset as I'm now 'qualify' to be referred into course, and now a little nervous, but since my last chest infection (which was a complete nuisance) my breathing is worse, sometimes feel a little breathless just getting up, showering and getting dressed, however I have joined a choir, and after one hour of singing (hit the road jack and love train) my breathing felt better. Thinking about it I have been hugging the sofa a bit for the past 6 weeks !!! Anyway thank you for the post. Certainly triggered hope for me, might even start drinking 🤓🍺🍺🍺xxxx


The moral of this story has to be "don't give up, you don't know what you are capable of".

Meteorological Winter ends in just under 4 weeks time. So in another couple of months I WILL be off out into the countryside to enjoy some fresh-air and getting closer to nature, you can see much more walking ( quiet ) than driving ( noisy ) through the countryside, time to observe rather than rushing through in a car. Being a city dweller I do miss the countryside and the slower pace of life. I think will have to invest in a hiking pole, better than a stick on rough terrain. Perhaps another sailing holiday on The Broads which, oddly enough, involves lots of walking too.

1 like

.......and drinking?😎 Walking pole sounds good. If you don't mind me asking, and don't answer if you feel I'm intrusive, but what was your lung function figures and what stage are you at? I'm moderate 56% predicted, to me it's scary , xxxx


Don't be scared, being short of breath is not unnatural, healthy people get short of breath too, it just happens sooner with us. I am at stage 3 with FEV1 of 37%.

You can do it too, it just takes commitment, see your PR through to the end, you will learn so much on how to manage your condition with breathing techniques, breathing exercises, education about your condition including your medication. You will be monitored by professionals and they will help if needed. They even caught a sudden flare up that came on over a couple hours, packed me home with instructions to start my emergency pack and it was nipped in the bud, I felt very little ill effects as a result.

I wish you well with your forthcoming PR and hope you get as much from it is I have. Afterwards you must carry on exercising or you will go backwards again and lose what you have gained and have to start all over again, commitment is the key to success.


Many many thanks for your encouraging reply xxx


Absolutely brilliant 2greys, I'm so pleased PR has worked so well for you :) x


Well done I finished PR a few months ago and my 6 minute walking test was better. I was also asked if I wanted to put my name down for the follow up maintanence course. I start that on Monday at my local gym one hour a week for 16 week. And I try to go out for a walk every day. I also have pain from arthritis. But have to keep moving so my joints don't get stiff. Take care


haha..I liked the pint of ale and steak pie..I have pulmonary rehab twice a week at the local got me down when I got there, all smokers trying to smoke themselves to death on the outside steps before they went in..then switching on their oxygen bottles..a sad joke..anyway it all helped although I didn't like the place..I'm going to get a house cross trainer I can use in front of the telly..


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