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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.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • valie
    3 years ago

    Derek…great article. I am very severe copd for a decade now. Without exercise I would not be here today. I go for a walk every day w/ my dog on a boardwalk by the river. Also go to pulmonary rehab 2X a week, mostly treadmill & education. On other days I go to the gym, treadmill, nustep, and wt machines. I have to turn my oxygen up to 5 lpm CF to keep my sats above 90. I also got some tai chi & qi gong DVD’s and hand wts to exersise w/ at home. Yoga on the Vid recorder on the tv shows. some days i’m too tired but the more I lay about the worse it is so I keep on keeping on! Great articles, keep them coming…..and thank you!

  • Jenn Patel
    3 years ago

    Thanks so much for your comment, valie! Wow, it sounds like you are putting in some great work! Thanks for sharing your inspirational experiences with the community – we’re glad you found us!

    Jenn (Community Manager,

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