British Lung Foundation
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After watching those fantastic Olympic games back in the summer I decided to up my exercise to a minimum of half hour a day on the ex bike and push myself to the limit. It was a kind of self imposed experiment as when you have a kind of Pulmonary fibrosis you have nothing much to loose. Anyway people around me started to comment on how much better I was looking but your never too sure wether thier just trying to make you feel better. Well my last respiratory test showed a slight Improvement which has never happened before so take it from me when they talk about the games inspiring people,It certainly worked for me!!!. I do push myself when exercising to a point where it feels quite uncomfortable but always feel better for it afterwards. I tend to cough and splutter but this seems to help shift the mucus that appears in my lungs every day. I'm never going to make Rio as a competitor in the next Olympics but I'll be happy to still be around to watch it on the TV. A very good Physio once told me that being out of breath is quite normal for us all, its just my level of breathlessness is at a different level to what it used to be. Top marathon runners choose to live thier lives suffering and being out of breath. After these words of wisdom I kind of took it on board and when I'm huffing and puffing now I never panic, Its ok I think to myself I'M ONLY OUT OF BREATH like anyone else, even healthy people get out of breath.

17 Replies

You are right, everyone gets breathless and those of us with lung complaints just tend to get there quicker! Whatever ails us, most of us do better with exercise than without.


yes auntymary we all must try to stop worrying about what might happen around the corner because this will only spoil the time we have left. Exercise seems to work for me and controling those dark thoughts. Positive thinking is a major part of any disease and listening to others in the same situation as you can only help. I cant beleive how long its taken me to find this BLF blogg site but Im so glad I have.


I do agree with you it is a chalenge i feel like any other take and lets get on and i think it works, it has for you, and for me. i do Yoga in a morning and then do what ever i can in the garden and the garage or the kitchen, i walk when ever i can and try not to sit down for too long. one point i have found that you have got to take care of your imune system with a few fishoils and vitamins, and get enough sleep, eat very fresh food, and think about the five a day,

i am so pleased you shared this as i was begining to think i was daft



Brilliant to hear you taking such positive control of your life dall05 - very inspiring - jean


Dear dall05,

What a heartening read, and timely too as I was just thinking of posting something about the benefits exercise on this site.

I exercise now fairly regularly and am so fortunate to have the support of a specialist COPD exercise instructor. She encourages me no end and I attend her class weekly, the gym weekly and then do some homes based exercise or long walks 1 hour + in between.

Exercise is one the most relevant and significant things we can do to help ourselves. I have also heard that this is the same for many health conditions inc. Diabetes.

I struggle to understand how it is that folk, even though they become breathless, choose not to engage in some form of physical activity which if they do it will be a major form of self help for themselves and is likely t have a significant impact on their breathing disorder.

I am off to lead a Laughter Yoga session this morning which will help my breathing and and benefit my heart and circulation as well as being loads of fun! And it is truly wonderful to see all those in the room with me laughing for no reason and having a great time.

So again, well done you! for getting up out of a chair and moving! Happy exercising and have a great Christmas.



Exercise and laughter sounds a great way of healing mind and body. I like the sound of that!. Iv'e done my 2 hour walk today so now its time for a laugh HA HA HA HE HE HE HA HA HA HA HA PAUSE FOR BREATH HA HA HA HA HA HA HA YEP I DEFINATLY FEEL MUCH BETTER NOW. Thanks for that PollyP you also have a great Christmas.


Laughter yoga session?? That sounds fantastic,wish they had one here! Congrats on doing so much to help yourself,thats wonderful,you sound so positive.

Have a wonderful christmas,and breathe easy,

Wendells xx.


Exercise is crucial, I think. I have an allotment which is pretty hard work most of the year and I go to the gym where I do only aerobic exercise. I feel so much better for it and it protects against so many infections. Good for you:)

Lynne x


Sitting around is definatly the wrong rd to take. I start to get depressed if I sit around as my breathing gets worse and I just generally feel low. If you feel as though your doing somthing to help yourself it give's you a boost and then you dont feel guilty when you do put your feet up at the end of the day. Thanks for your nice comments and encouragement Lynne. Have a great Christmas x


It's so true that exercise is vital for us all. Just because we're asthmatic doesn't mean we mustn't get out or try! we all need to build up our strength if we can. When we're having better days that's the time to get out and take a walk, or to exercise in any way that suits, and up your fitness. It will prove a benefit to be sure.

I started four years ago, I pushed myself, slowly but surely over the weeks I felt different and I looked different, I was more vital, thinner! stronger, and the asthma wasn't so bad, I had less attacks. I didn't do well in some forms of exercise but found the ones that suited me and continued in that way. For instance, the exercise bike didn't suit me at all, got me too breathless in that really uncomfortable way, but muscle strengthening exercises I liked and didn't get breathless doing them either. I hope we all do all we can to get a little stronger and a little better if we can. I have been asthmatic for more than 25 years and have been hospitalized countless times, have moderate COPD the last time being a month ago but this will not stop me from getting back to doing whatever I can to pick myself up and start all over again! I hope this little bit of my personal experience will inspire!

All the best.

1 like

I was diagnosed with a bi-lateral Pulmonary Embolism 9 weeks ago, when I got out of hospital I could only manage a short distance walking, today I did one of my old walks which involved a reasonable drag up a hill. I felt so pleased with myself achieving this milestone. There are so many positive benefits to exercise, so I know where you are all coming from. Finding the right exercise for you is important, swimming is great as there are no hills, and you can measure your improvement.


I enjoyed reading your very uplifting post dall05, and to see many others getting benefit from exercise. My sport is swimming, still get very breathless but I keep trying.

I also give thought to those who are too unwell, I think don't push it until you are ready.



Yes I agree that you should not push too hard too soon. I was told that small steps will get you there in the end when I was recovering from a double puemonia which is where my fibrosis seems to have started. I literally had to rebuild myself from scratch as the loss of 3 and a half stone in 1 month on life support left me with no muscle and a very poor set of lungs. The hard work started with sitting on the side of the bed for 5 minutes max while being held up by 3 physio's as I screemed at them to let me lie back down, It took me 4 months to get back on my leggs and on the day I left the hospital they did a six minute walk test on me, I managed 100 metres on 5 litres of oxygen and had to sit down 5 times in my wheel chair because I was so out of breath. When I got home thats where walking from the front door too the back door progressed too getting to the bus stop and so on untill recently I managed to get to the top of the British Camp on the Malvern Hills all be it on 6 litres of oxygen and a huge amount of huffing and puffing. It seems as though with patients and hard work you get to the best you can be and thats all we can ask of ourselves. Its only my lungs that are Knackered now,the rest of me is all good and I'm quite happy to still be here. Keep up your swimming and I'll see you competing at Rio in 4 years. I wish you well and have a great Christmas.


Oh goodness dall you have been through a lot, you have a good fighting spirit that could well see you at Rio in 4 yrs ! British Camp on the Malverns is quite a hike, been up to that beautiful place, I was brought up in Herefordshire, the little villages of Hampton Bishop and Fownhope, you are so lucky there.

Keep on it dall and let us know how you are doing. Good Christmas wishes to you too.

su in Somerset.


Totally agree, was taught this in the Pulmonary Rehab course, and have said many times on here that laying in bed, or resting too much is the enemy.


Totally with you Sylvsmum, for sure, muscle tone begins to reduce after only 1 day in bed..

And to all of you out there, of course take care of yourselves, exercise when you can, start from where you are, if that is walking 5 metres and the rest then so be it, and a little more day if possible.

Exercise helps muscles to use oxygen efficiently! Yay!

Out of the 11 people who were on the same Pulmonary Rehab course with me this year with me, not one them has joined the Respiratory Exercise class...ummmmm?

May you all be healthy and happy.


I think cycling's great. It is the most effective way of shifting phlegm that I know! Though it's often a struggle and I have to stop and get my breath back, it's worth getting up the hills here in Dorset for the fantastic views from the top. Then there is the natural 'high' we can get from vigorous excercise, too. It might be hard work, but it feels great afterwards!


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