Exercise and COPD: For several months I... - British Lung Foun...

British Lung Foundation

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Exercise and COPD


For several months I was in Physical Therapy following a series of falls. No broken bones but a lot of bruising and back spasms along with a sciatic problem. I am happy to say that those problems are healed, praise God. But in the course of the therapy it became obvious that I am unable to exercise without aqua therapy. The stress on my body just increases my heart rate too much and I can't function for very long, even if I can breathe. But in the water my heart rate is elevated with exercise, but I can control the amount of exercise I do but my muscles are getting a workout just the same. I don't feel the impact on my body the same way I would if I were out of the water. I'm so thankful the doctors finally agreed to let me go to a senior water exercise class three days a week for one hour. I did overdo it a little bit at first learning what my heart rate could tolerate. I guess I got really red-faced and they thought I would have to go to the hospital. But I slowed down and did my emergency breathing and I was fine in five minutes. Just the simple act of floating is relaxing if nothing else, but it uses muscles too. An added benefit is I am sleeping better. Instead of two hours a night I'm getting four to five. That's amazing! I realize not everyone is blesses to have a YMCA that offers these swim classes. But if you have the opportunity to join an exercise program that offers water therapy, I encourage you to participate.

1 Reply

Good morning,yes I concur with your sentiments,as well as COPD i also suffer from diabetes,osteoarthritis in the knees and am currently morbidly obese,however since end of May I too took to the water as it is the only form of exercise possible,I had to take it easy at first but now complete 40 to 50 lengths over a period of 1 hour most days a week,all my numbers are down from may,weight,mmol/ml,hba1c,cholesterol,plus my breathing figures are much better,home from moderate to mild COPD.

The key is not to do too much as you found out,good luck on your journey it won't be easy but then again nothing ever is as you get older.

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