How do you know if you desaturate while exercising?

Pretty much what is said in the title, how do you know if you're desaturating?

I can exercise rather well, I can row 7km in 27:45, and can run 10k in 46:30. However, usually an hour or so after exercise, I feel exhausted, I find I'm rubbing my eyes as if there is sleep in them, and later my eye lids start hurting.

I was wondering if anyone had noticed anything similar?

I should mention I've not been diagnosed with a lung condition, but I suspect I have at least mild bronchitis.

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11 Replies

  • I wouldn't be able to row 7 metres-sounds like you are an extraordinary athlete. You can buy a little o2 measure device online to measure your saturation level. You aRe probably tired and need a sleep and some electrolyte replacement after all that effort- but you probably know that. I'm sure your dr. Can advise you.

  • Hi

    Check your oxygen saturation with a pulse oximeter.

    Remembering that some start high and come down to stabilise, others start low and go up to stabilise.

    Considering your work out I would not expect any serious desaturation. If any at all.

    Do you do a warm up before, and a wind down after exercise.

  • I've tried to measure my oxygen levels during my workout but the moment just gives me what I assume is an inaccurate reading. I've measured my reading straight after a workout and it's usually around 97/98.

    I was just wondering how people know they're desaturating during a workout.

  • Most inexpensive pulse oximeters are not that accurate with movement so using one during exercise may not be completely accurate depending on the exercise they are doing. More expensive POs are more accurate so if you have any condition that is likely to cause desaturation you would likely be tested in a clinic that uses a PO that is accurate with movement or exercise so you would know if you are desaturating.

  • I think they would feel unwell -as you are extremely fit I wouldn't worry-hydration might be more the problem . A lot of people have trouble walking across room .

  • mrblue,if most of us attempted your impressive feats of athletisism we would turn the same colour as your name.Easiest option is the Pulse Oximeter as per previous suggestions but judging by your sats and stats you have absolutely nothing to worry about.Good luck in your next Olympic.very jealous skischool

  • I cant walk across the room without dropping into the 80s range from 90s--what I wouldn't give to be you--Take care of them lungs--I wish I had--MmeT

  • NEW from Jazztrain12

    You need to buy yourself an Oximeter either off the Internet or from Boots (Chemist) It will read both your pulse and BP at same time but the Batteries of which you need two - you have to buy extra.

    I can assure you once you have this gadget you will have peace of mind forever.

    Kind regards

  • I would go to see your GP. Your symptoms could be due to many things. The body burns and replaces energy in a number of ways and after an hour your reserves should be back up. It may be due to dietary issues or other problems which a few tests will sort out. I did have a problem like yours i.e falling asleep after exercise but since going onto a high protein diet and exercising more it is no longer an issue. As for checking 02 sats I have a good pulse oximeter which I use whilst on natural breaks between exercises. Obviously it does not tell me what my 02 sats are whilst exercising but I am happy knowing what they are like 10 to 20 seconds after finishing.

  • How well can you exercise after your diagnosis?

  • Hi I walk and run between 3 and 5kms five or six days a week. I had pneumonia over Christmas and it's been a long slow build up. I base everything on the six minute walk test. At present I can do 900m in six minutes which I hope to build up to 1200m given time. I am on a special diet as people who have lung conditions can burn lots of extra calories just breathing so there is a lot of balancing exercising and maintaining and increasing weight. I am 58 with 57% lung function. With my lung condition you need to exercise it's a case of use it or lose it. Doing normal activities I do not get out of breath nor drop my sats it's only when I exercise at a pace over 100m a minute that I get breathless. But the more I exercise the better That issue becomes. I do not feel that I have reached my full potential yet, so it's very much a work in progress on how far I will go.

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