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British Lung Foundation
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Exercise For COPD during pneumonia recovery

I need the wisdom of you lovely peeps again. Like others before me I am realising that recovering from pneumonia can take a very long time. Four weeks after being diagnosed I feel like it’s been four years! One of the things I am worried about is that I’m supposed to exercise for my COPD. I have also had two lots of unprovoked pulmonary embolism’s so need to keep moving. How on earth can I achieve this when I’m feeling exhausted all the time? I would love to hear how others in a similar position have managed to exercise during recovery from pneumonia.

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I think the word 'exercise' is the wrong word to use in these circumstances. You mentioned the need to keep moving and for someone in your position that is the 'exercise' you need to start with until you have built up enough strength to 'exercise' as in the common use of the word. I found just sitting waving my arms and legs around to start with is enough, don't give in to easily and but don't over-do it. Be patient with yourself. 😉

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The thought of you waving your arms and legs is enough to make me smile for the day Don.

Great, sound advice from our wise owl.😊

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Couldn’t have put it better myself lol

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Wonder if Midge thought this was a new game, or what is this silly old sod upto now, you have to laugh , you always make me smile, thats for sure x

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Midge is well aware that she is owned by a complete nutter and seems quite happy about it, being a bit that way herself. 😉

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Ha!ha!ha! Lucky Midge, its lovely living with nutters, means you can just be yourself and have a laugh x

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Shows what good taste she has Don😂

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Thanks Don. Unfortunately Patience isn’t one of my virtues but I will try hard.

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Four weeks post pneumonia is not a long time, exercise in this case does not mean running round the block but taking it gently. After my first bout of pneumonia I started off walking to the end of the garden, then along the road to the second lamppost,and generally built it up from there.By my fourth lot of pneumonia I gave up completely and became a couch kitten for 6 weeks. Read a lot of books so exercised my brain!

J

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Thank you for your helpful advice Jude’s. Poor you I can’t imagine what it must’ve been like having pneumonia four times. Is it something that recurs once you’ve had it?

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I've lost count of the number of times I had it over about 18 months. Five I think. (We're all different of course). I believe now that it had a lot to do with my immune system being pole axed, I'd also had numerous chest infections & pleurisy twice. I didn't know much at the time so learnt a lot from dear members here.

It took a couple of years to rebuild the immune system and get medications right for me. I still take loads of supplements and when very low invest in a really good tonic. I think three months was the average recovery time, a miserable time. I thought my life was over, it was hell. If I had my time over I'd get going with the tonics and supplements during and after the first bout.

As the others say, exercise need building up little and often. You/we can't put a strain on our battered lungs & heart. I wish you luck and a gentle recovery. P

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What a rotten time you have had Peege. I too have found the people on this forum incredibly helpful. What tonic/supplements do you take to build your immune system?

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I'll send you a private msg a bit later when I've walked the dog! P x

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Peege can I sound like an idiot but could you explain how to send a private message on this site to me too. I saw your reply to kristen 48 and would like to know how to do this . Mx

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You click on the person's name, when you get their page up you'll see in the top right corner a little box entitled 'message' you just click on that and write your message then click on send.

If you receive a private message it'll show in the top bar by 'chat'.

Hope that helps. P

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Thanks. I'll try it Mx

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Did you send me a private message Peege? x

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Hi sorry to butt in but please could you tell me what the tonic is as my mum is recovering from a chest infection very slowly and we’d love to know about anything to help! Thank you

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There's Floradix and I think Metatone? They come with or without iron I believe. Supermarkets or your pharmacy will have them. Best wishes for you mum, plenty of fluids. Nutritious soups from a mug if she doesn't feel like eating x

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Excellent thank you x

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It takes a while Kristen, at times I felt I’d never recover. I had my first bought the end of last November & the second at the end of January & even now the fatigue seems to be never ending. The BLF website says it can take up to 6 months to fully recover so patience is definitely a virtue where pneumonia is concerned. As has already been said any movement is exercise & can be built up as the body feels more willing. The most important thing is to eat well if you can.

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Thank you for your helpful response. I am now perceiving exercise differently as I am counting my movements. I was off my food for a while but my appetite has returned unfortunately for all the wrong things as I was trying to lose weight before becoming ill.

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Hi Kirsten

I have no idea why I had it so often it started last June, I wasn’t in the UK at the time, so spent 12 days in an Italian hosp 3 of those in their ITU. Up until then I had little trouble with my heart or lungs, apart from the odd PE. I have a weird blood clotting thing.

Then Pneumonia again August, November and January, Pleurisy in Sept and Feb

Chest infection March! So heart and lungs now knackered

I feel it was one of those things and no real reason for it all.

I’m very laid back so what will be will be, I still lead an active life, go to theatre and the footy and enjoy myself. However, I not going to run for a bus, take my time doing things and if I need a rest will have one, without feeling guilty. Oh and some of the elderly ladies walk faster than I do!

Take care and take things gently one step at a time.

J

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I am so sorry to hear about all your infections. It must’ve been a very debilitating time for you. I sincerely hope things improve and wish you the very best for a speedy recovery. K.

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Good morning to you. I hope you're feeling a lot better this morning🌻I have a variety of weights and exercise machines at home. I use 2.5 kg weights to expand my lungs a bit every morning and some deep breathing. I find that helps me. There are also some DVDs on the market for gentle stretching etc. I hope you find something. Have a good day Kristen48.💐😊

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I walk a bit in the garden too. To keep my immune system strong I have been taking supplements of zinc, selenium and vitamin C religiously for 15 years and I hardly get chest infections. I eat fruit and green veg and smile a lot 🤗I think that keeps me going. Meditation and 528Hz music 😄🤗

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Many thanks Gingerapple. I can’t believe all the wonderful advice I am getting. I will see if there are any stretching videos on YouTube. I already take Zinc and Vitemin C and will explore selenium. Thanks again and have a great weekend.

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I chop four Brazil nuts and mix into porridge for two persons. I think that is more or less the recommended dose of selenium.

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Great. I love Brazil nuts! Many thanks

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Bless you for your helpful advice Gingerapple. I have some 2 kg weights which I can use and will add deep breathing to my initial exercise regime. You have a good day too 😊

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As an easy starter or warm up, put some of your favourite music on and move about to the beat. You can do this sitting down at first, just moving arms and legs so that your circulation improves without your legs having to carry the weight of your body. Then as you get stronger, stand and move to the music with the support of a chair back, and build up to standing independently as you move to the music. All the best.

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Thank you for your helpful advice Ergendi. What lovely and helpful people there are on this forum. I am finding it really helpful thank you so much. All the best to you too.

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The BLF do a great DVD of exercise specific to lung health and stamina. I think it's free. Lots can be adjusted from sitting position as Ergendl says. Important to keep the circulation working well without exerting yourself at first. You'll soon get stronger 🤒😷🚶🏃🏊🚴🚵🏄⛷🏇💪

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It is free. I have that DVD. When I wanted to order it, it was out of stock so I bought the book which costs £5 and is also good.

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Thanks Peege. I will try and order the DVD and/or book.

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You have had some excellent advice Kristen48.

No doubt it will take time to rebuild your strength but the most important factor in your recovery is that you are prepared to do whatever it takes to get there. That’s a great mindset.😉

With summer here there are wonderful days to look forward to and to enjoy.

I wish you strength and good wishes for the future, and

Remember to take BABY STEPS.

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Thanks for your Stirling advice Whitechinchilla. The wisdom in this group knows no bounds

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Glad that you are part of our extended family Kristen48.

I echo your thoughts completely and would be lost without this site.

Hope your day is as restful and stress free as you can make it.😉

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Have a great weekend X

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I have included some exercise / movement / stretching depending on how I feel. You can select seated exercises or stretching which will help. The first video is very instructive to help you understand the different muscles you are strengthening by just simple movements. I take breaks and use oxygen while I do all my exercises. Hope this helps.

how and why we breathe

open chest expansion

lung exer

Lung Exercises For People With Breathing Problems

seated exercises

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Thank you so much Bronc22 These videos are excellent and just what I need. I plan to watch them over the weekend and use them to exercise my lungs. Have a lovely weekend and thanks again x

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Ask your GP to refer you for a course of pulmonary rehab. Excellent advice re inhalers, nutrition, breathing techniques etc. ending with an hour long session of supervised exercise. All very sociable and generally enjoyably instructive. Can't praise highly enough.

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Thank you Audrey. I had my pulmonary rehabilitation after my first pulmonary embolism’s and went for a refresh a few months ago. I agree it’s very useful and maybe I need to go again when I feel a bit stronger.

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I'm in exactly the same position I'm 12 days. Into my recovery 4days left on antibiotics then the scary. Part when you are on your own . I hope you get some sound advice and make a full recovery I will be thinking about you. as i. hopefully get through mine xxxx

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I have received excellent advice and support on this forum that I’m sure you will be able to make use of. Being on our own is scary but with support from others who have been on the same journey, I’m sure we will get through it. Take care xx

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I can recommend a Swedish YouTube video. It is so clear it does not matter that you do not understand what he says. His advice is only to do as much as you are comfortable with, never to overdo it. I do not know how to link, but look up Sittgympa med Roger Westin. I used it when I had a knee problem and found it easy to follow.

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Many thanks I will give it a go X

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