The Past and Outdoor Fun
As a continuation of my previous article, Getting Fit with Pulmonary Rehab, I wanted to discuss the past and also some outdoor fun.
How lucky am I?
If I would have had COPD with an Fev1 of 25% 50 years ago I would not be able to go outside at all. In them days there was no way to supply oxygen to us that like to be mobile. For those needing oxygen 24/7 it was more dire, as you would then have had a huge very heavy oxygen bottle by your bedside, so would need to be in your bedroom, and on your bed each waking hour. In them days there were no such things as oxygen concentrators in the home as I have now either. Think how hard it must have been in days past.
I had an interesting talk with a young guy whose grandfather died of emphysema. For seven long years he lost all mobility as his only source of oxygen was a huge O2 bottle beside his bed. But us, with mobile oxygen, we can go almost anywhere. I do not use oxygen most times when sitting as now at my computer or watching a film. But if and when the time comes when I need to use oxygen 24/7 am more than grateful for modern times.
Walking up an incline is a no for me unless I have no choice. Flat is good for a slow walk with frequent stops - but downhill. That brings a smile to my face. Do you live near hills? If so why not take public transport to the top if you can. Then walk back down. Or you live at the top walk down and ride back up. Ask a friend or partner to drive you, or take a bus if there is one. If you use oxygen be sure to take an oximeter, and stop on occasions to test your O2 saturation level, while not forgetting to rest on a bench or low wall if you need to. Remember: exercise is not a race. It is the doing that matters. A walk in the park where there are lots of places to stop and rest. A walk in a mall, anywhere that is flat and you can rest when you need is good. Amazingly one great place I found where there were seats every few yards apart is a zoo. We just need to be proactive.
To make your trips out and about more memorable take pictures with your mobile phone, or camera if you have one, while having a slow walk, or resting. Photos are always fun to look at when you have your feet up, taking a well-earned rest after exercise.
If you know, or do, any exercises safely either outside or inside your home I would love to hear from you in the comment section below.
Most of all remember, we must strive to breathe easier. For that we must move our bodies and exercise. If you can and have not done so yet, get onto a pulmonary rehabilitation course. You will meet others with lung problems just like you. Make new friends, and in most cases find abilities you never knew you had. I have been in a course and found pulmonary rehab really worthwhile.
As always, breath deep and easy.
Do you find it difficult to enjoy the holidays with COPD?