Sometimes, I look back on my life and wonder if I’ve dreamt it! Was that really me running around Marine Drive in the sleet and snow, or running up all the steps and inclines at Peasholm Park, swimming 20 lengths at the indoor pool or staying for a second aerobic session at the church hall because the first one was too easy. It just seems so surreal that I have lived that life and now it takes me all my time to do a 15 mins cycle on my exercise bike. They say life rolls on and it’s so true you have to grab it with both hands, before it floats away, before you have managed to colour it in, like an unfinished drawing.
How do you know that you have completed each bit of your life to the full? All you can do is hope that you have before it is too late I suppose, take every moment and do as much with it as humanly possible at that time. The older you get the more you appreciate the lack of quality time left to you, much more than when you are young and have loads to squander. I suppose its like money, you only really care about it when it’s in short supply. A bit like that song by passenger! Most importantly you only miss good health when you have lost it. We all take good health for granted.
It’s important therefore when you have any life altering kind of illness to make the most of every day and that includes rest days. Before I could do this, I had to make friends with my illness, I had to accept it, not be afraid to ask questions from the Doctors about it and also not be afraid to ask for help. People surprise me all the time in their care and understanding.
With COPD you have good days, normal days and bad days. I try to maximize my surroundings so that I can make the most out of those good days and normal days, (see for more information on this). And, in order to enjoy and make the most out of these good and normal days as much as possible you have to be as healthy as possible. Because of this, I have started exercising. I really had to force myself to get on with this exercise thing its so important to keep up with your exercise routines when you have COPD. The saying ‘use it or lose it’, is doubly important with this disease. But, I was finding this challenging! What makes you want to exercise? It has always been music for me and dancing is a great form of exercise and I also used to ride my bike and have my radio in the basket at the back as a teenager, I used to be singing along while I was riding to my friends.
So I suppose the experience of exercise is very personal to our own motivators. If someone said you have to do three turns around the field every morning, I would, I suppose, do it once but then I would think of any excuse possible not to do it again. You have to do something that is achievable and something that you really enjoy, so my first venture into exercise this time will be on my exercise bike and to music maybe singing when I have the breath. I decided to record my achievement and how I felt each time and record my oxygen level and pulse rate. I also videoed myself which was quite amusing really, I spent a lot of time laughing at myself – is that good exercise! Seeing improvement for me is a good motivator and will keep me going! For someone who’s favourite exercise was walking miles and giving the hoover some wellie, it is difficult to really stick to this static biking thing, so I have to make this as interesting and motivating as possible.
The video diary that I am making will eventually be edited and put onto my site to show how much better my quality of life is with just this small input of exercise every day. I expect to increase my exercise by a couple of mins a week so that eventually I will manage half an hour a day on the bike. Eventually, I am hoping to do more walking and will follow the regime below once I have mastered the biking.
The Walk –
I have had an idea about increasing walking tolerance and that is. I will start off from my house and walk for as long as I can, time it and see which house number I end up next to. I will then rest and make my way back home. I will carry on doing this each day seeing what house number I land on each day in the allotted time. In theory I should be able to increase the house numbers and time I can walk, reaching further down the street the better I get. Well that is the idea!
I will continue this as I progress so see you later!