What exercise do you do? Does anyone use a Wii?

I'm diagnosed with moderate COPD with FEV1 at 62% and FVC at 63%. At the moment I manage on just Spiriva and I have a Ventolin (salbutamol) inhaler but I'm trying not to use it as I seem to get discomfort in my chest with it and want to discuss with the nurse if there is an alternative. I know I am not as advanced as a lot of people here but would appreciate any input on what exercise people do.

I have asked both the GP and the nurse at the surgery's COPD clinic about exercise, told them I'd like to keep as well as possible for as long as possible, and both of them said that walking my dog twice a day for a total of between 1.5 and 2 hours is enough. I told them that she is a stop/start, sniffing, plodding dog so no more than a stroll and it's not exactly going to get my heart rate up let alone exercise anything else, both said that's OK because I am outside and walking.

I didn't think that was enough so today I joined an exercise class locally. I didn't know what to expect but it turns out that it's run by an older lady for............. older ladies. That's fine, I come into that category :) . I would class it more like music and movement, gentle exercise/almost dance-like routines to music, stretching and moving all parts of the body. Nothing to really make you breathless or really get the heart pumping. I enjoyed it and will be going again.

However, I'm not really sure this is enough. What do others do?

I've been told pulmonary rehab is too far away (50 miles and I don't know if I'd qualify anyway) and the exercise class run by the nurse is, I've been told, for people who can barely get out of the chair.

Also, does anyone use a Wii for exercise? If so what game is it? I have a Wii here but it only gets used when the grandchildren visit. Just wondering if I can make use of it.

20 Replies

  • Are u having a laugh can't touch me toes let alone owt else. :D

  • Please ignore azzard,while a very nice man,,he has been trying to suck his toes and all the blood went to his head.. :) You can get excersise things for it,,no doubt someone can give better info than me,, :)

  • I have seen people on here say they use the Wii to keep fit so I expect they'll pop in later.

    elian mentions it here.


  • More activity is a good thing! Whatever you do and can do, do more! There will be times when you get knocked back and you can't, then look after yourself. When you are better, start again.

    Warwickshire will send physios to your home free of charge if you need them. May be something similar operates in your area.

  • Hello, I have very severe emphysema and I was advised to take 30 minutes exercise per day and that it should make me breathless but not leave me gasping for breath. Based on this, I would agree with you that a gentle stroll with your dog would not be sufficient. Maybe you should jog to the PR group? ;)

  • hi seasidesusie,,i walk with my dog twice everday in all weathers,,she,s a sniffer but always ahead of me,,i tried the wii,,nearly killed me,,thru laughing,,never play when the g,kids are around,,but did find there excercises to hard an fast,,,,i hope you find some sort of excercise to suit you to

  • Hi Chrissie. My dog is so slow she's generally behind me (and I really don't walk anything like fast), she finds the ground very interesting and sniffs every square inch. Sometimes looks like I'm dragging a mop on a lead behind me LOL!!!!!

  • Right, I'll get the Wii out and I think there's a WiiFit game in there, will have a look and see what's suitable. I've also found an exercise DVD for COPD and asthma and have ordered it so with the class I've just started plus the choice of Wii and the DVD hopefully I will be able to have a variety of exercises suitable to start and maybe even progress.

  • BLF do a book on exercise , Might be worth giving them a call . I also walk my dog and on my bad days i let him do lots of sniffs other days he gets a faster walk . Su x

  • Oh susie you did make me laugh ref your dog,,i go up to hardy monument,,just outside weymouth,,my mutt knows every badger sett and rabbit hole within a 2 mile radias,,no chance of a quick walk with her,,enjoy your excercise,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

  • I have a Wii and use it to do step, running and table tennis, but I do get bored with it, so I have now joined a gym and do about 45 minutes of cardio about 3 times per week. Basically it's 30 mins treadmill, 10 bike and 5 rowing machine.

    I'm 58 and I am moderate with 55%.

    Lynne xx

  • hi lynne. i was doing 1and half hours walking on treadmill for 5 miles before i go have a little swim at the gym.. but got bored all that time on treadmill so like you i now do the bike and rowing macine has well but not sure what rowing machine is doing for me..i will have to ask trainer and find out what exercise is best for my lungs has i have moderate COPD

    but i must be lucky enough to be able to do that after reading on here that some people have problems walking that far

  • PS. I am on Spiriva, which really helps. You will find that people have really different ranges of ability on here. It depends on other conditions people might have, historical fitness levels etc. I also have a full size allotment and work.

    Lynne xx

  • Hi yes wii just dance brill x

  • Hi SeasideSusie,

    It's great to hear you're looking into doing more physical activity.

    If you type your postcode into the interactive map you will be able to see if there's a specialist respiratory instructor near you:


    You can find out more about how to get active here as well; there's info on creative ways to keep active including finding walking clubs:


    If Pulmonary Rehab is too far and you might be 'too well' to attend, then go back to your GP / nurse and ask for a referral to your local exercise referral scheme where you would meet an instructor who would make a bespoke exercise programme to help you to push yourself more.

    Good luck!

    BLF Active

  • Hi Katie, thanks so much for that. There's a respiratory instructor an hour's drive away, or half an hour by train but they only run every two hours :( . When I spoke to the nurse she said the only exercise group was the one for those much more advanced than me.

    I was just about to write another blog as I've had the exercise DVD arrive today so I thought I'd mention what it's like and what I'm doing exercise-wise.

  • Yes please- do let us know how you find the DVD, we'd be very interested to hear.

    There should still be an exercise referral scheme in your area which should provide tailored exercise for you. Otherwise, Age UK EXTEND classes may suit, or even Zumba Gold!

  • Hi Katie

    I did a blog post about the exercise DVD here blf.healthunlocked.com/blog...

    I asked the nurse at my surgery about exercise classes and was told pulmonary rehab is too far away and the local exercise class another nurse does is for patients far more advanced for me. Nothing else on offer.

    I've checked Age UK to see if there's any Extend classes and again because of where I live nothing is available locally, nearest place one and a half hour's drive and not sure if they do them there anyway.

    I'm happy with the DVD, the Wii and the exercise class I've found which I mentioned in the blog for now so I'll see how it goes.

    The DVD I think would be good for most of us as it can all be done sitting down if necessary (in the DVD one person is exercising in a wheelchair and another sitting on a chair) and it's aimed at getting all the breathing muscles exercised.

  • Thanks Susie - keep going with what you've found works!

    It's great to hear how people get on with different forms of exercise so thanks for sharing your experiences.

    BLF Active

  • Reccommend Wii Sports golf bowling and boxing of feeling energetic. Play with my kids for as long as possible on 8LPM O2 with ILD. Enjoy

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