British Lung Foundation
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Exercise

My asthma nurse has told me I am under weigh and unfit. I have really taken the comment to heart. My asthma nurse wants me to exercise each day until I am panting. I have a problem I am not getting to the panting point. I am going dizzy and lightheaded with a racing heart. Should I keep pushing till I am panting or should I be stopping once my eyes feel heavy and my head feels light?

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In my opinion I think you need to build up your exercise incrementally over a couple of weeks, not shock your body into feeling faint and dizzy. Any fitness expert will tell you to start gently. Build up your stamina before you go all out.

You could simply march on the spot for a few minutes with the back of a chair nearby to grab if you need to, start with 2 minutes & build up over a week until your heart, lungs & muscles get used to a bit of exertion. In the BLF shop you can get a DVD which is very good to start you off.

Are you eating enough? Should you be taking a puff of your ventolin before you start exercise?

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probably not eating enough either. i am waiting to see a dietitian

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Good advice, I think I'll try that myself .

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Hi the optimum exercise point is to get to a stage where you are too breathless to sing but not too breathless to speak. Don't go beyond that point. If you are getting light headed then stop, take a breather, then carry on. It's better to do it in small chunks several times a day. As you get fitter you will be able to do more but it will take time.

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You could ask for a referral to a physio who could then go through with you what exercises to do and for how long. Any muscles not used get weaker and so movement then takes more effort. But using the muscles builds them up and movement becomes easier. As others have said the best advice is to start gently and gradually build up.

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This mornings exercise was changing the bedding. I managed to get the sheets off the bed before I started to feel lightheaded. I will try the marching with my walking frame so that if I go light headed I can grip the frame.

thank bk you for your friendly words.

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First thing have you seen a dietitian in regard to your low weight? I have the same problem and they gave me a lot of excellent advice. My exercise tolerance improved as I gained weight. You may find things improve the one affects the other.

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i have an appointment with a dietitian on wednesday at 11am at my flat.

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i am going to a rehabilitation centre on monday morning at 11:30am I will see if they can help me because I cannot get to panting point. I just get to light headed and racing heart point.

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Ok, if you are underweight your body as limited reserves and your metabolism can have problems meeting your energy needs. Without going into complex physiology basically you only have the fuel you take in by eating and have very limited reserves that the body needs to break down contained in other areas of the body for example in body fat. Your blood sugar levels may be going down due to this. So get advice on how to avoid this and what foods to eat that break down slowly.

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yes i do keep getting low blood sugar!

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That you know you are getting low blood sugars suggests that you are diabetic. Is your weight stable or are you still losing it? Either way a small snack before exercising would probably help. 4 jelly babies = 20g carb = 2 hobnobs.

When I had eating problems (stomach surgery) and there was concern about rapid weight loss the hospital dietician advised no salad and extra jelly and biscuits and chocolate but that was years ago and the wife says it no longer applies to me but may help you.

Best wishes.

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Hi

A list of home exercises, from my pulmonary rehablitation class.

Panting seems a step to far.

If you can say a sentence with no breaks you are not working hard enough, if you can say a sentence with one or two breaks thats enough.

Look at the exercises do as many as you like for a set time, 30seconds is a good staring point. Then build up to two minutes if possible.

It's exercises endurance rather than exercise activity.

You are just toning muscles so as they need less oxygen, or make better use of the oxygen available.

healthunlocked.com/blf/post...

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Hi Stone thank you so much for these exercises, can you just confirm that these are suitable for someone with Pulmonary Fibrosis. Carole

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Hi

It's always a good idea to check with your GP or Respitory nurse before embarking on a exercise regime.

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Low weight is common in people who have lung problems. See your dietition. Add build up foods to yiur diet add butter & cream to mash 😆 etc try to make each bite count its worth a try. Ask for a ref to pulmanary rehab they will help build up your exercise levels slowly and safely and the support is exalent. I hate medical experts that makes comments like that to thin not enough exercise with out offering any guidance as how best to approch theas problems good luck try not to worry that wont help things x

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eating is so tiring!

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Yes been thear and done that. It takes more energy to eat the food than you get from the food. Wich is why you should try and enrich the food you do eat. Its not easy but to help get yourself fitter you should try 😕

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Buteyko breathing will, in my experience, enable you to eventually walk well and at a good pace, even uphill if you persist.

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When I came out of hospital last year I was on 15 hrs a day oxygen and weighed only 45kilos. Weak as a kitten. I was put on a high protien diet and a nutrition full fat milk drink daily. I ate cheese, avocados, nuts, Greek yogurts and bananas until they came out of my ears! And loads of chocolate! A year later and I'm back to a healthy weight of 54 kilos. I'm also now only on night oxygen and when walking. I have severe emphysema and my oxygen sats go very low when walking, let alone full on excercise. I concentrate on exercising sitting down and ive used weights to strengthen my arms and legs. I'm active in the home and daily chores get done using my portable oxygen concentrator. I have been told to get as much exercise as possible but to not let my sats drop below 90 for too long as my heart rate shoots up. So I do what I can and lead a pretty normal life.

I'm currently in the UK visiting my daughter and new grandson. I flew over from Spain unaccompanied and feeling really proud of myself! Gosh, what a difference a year makes!

So good luck JV and please let us know how you get on.

Much love, Mxx

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