July 06, 2008 COPD and exercise BEYOND PULMONARY REHAB
Posted Jul 07 2008 7:07pm
Taking a nap/break from computer, Fill in later.
OK I'm back. It has been a week since the long walk. A week of muscles in my legs recovering from the extra use...they really hurt for two days. Nothing that a couple of ibuprofen couldn't help tone down to a tolerable level. I rested and recouped from 'overdoing' it. No way should anyone attempt to over do this way unless extremely well prepared and conditioned. But I am after -- 5 years of walking 30-60 minutes almost every day, and then for longer one day every other week.
Looking back to my beginning pulmonary rehab classes,: Respiratory Therapists made me slow down - because walking over 1.5 mph would push my pulse rate sky high, just standing up it went to 124. They worried about my blood pressure so much that they sent me back to my doctor to obtain a written permission to take the classes. I would walk on the treadmill for about 15 minutes at under 2 mph for about 6 weeks. I was told to not go above 124 pulse rate which was impossible, but I did keep it near 130. My favorite was the schwinn stepper, I hurried to use that machine first. In reclining position it felt so easy in comparison to the TM. The exercyle also was not as difficult because of not supporting my own weight. We finished up the day with small weights. My arms were pathetic, that is where I first lost my strength.
The first part of rehab was classes that taught us about COPD, how to cope with it, what to ask our doctors, and all about medications, keeping a good diet, making a day scheduled with good activity and exercise, and regular rest or sleep hours. They also covered oxygen equipment and assisted us in getting what O2 portable was best for us. Right off I had an oximeter, which was frowned on back then. Now Dr. Thomas Petty recommends...and has a booklet, guide for patient's and "Your personal oximeter".
I have never regretted all the hard work...and it IS hard work to rehab back to normal strength. The gains in function and quality of life are tremendous, and it has served to keep my lung functions from progressing beyond the aging factor that everyone has. One can do well with a LOT LESS activity, but it is my understanding to maintain good fitness one should work up to about a 25 minute mile, if possible, the longer a time walking, the better, but a half hour a day or an hour several times a week is good. That is my minimum now, and it has enabled me to do other things for longer, such as shopping, social outings. It increases ones endurance for meetings, playing with grandkids, and travel. It is also helpful in keeping ones mental status and attitude more firstname.lastname@example.org