Did you know as we age we begin to lose lung capacity?
Typically this happens for men starting at the age of 25 and for women at 35 years of age. At the same time this is happening, we also tend to lose muscle tone. Just when we most need our breathing muscles to help us in our daily lives or our exercise, these muscles may not be working as efficiently as before.
If you exercise regularly you may think you don’t have to worry about this natural event. However, aging is associated with increased breathlessness and declines in respiratory function. And further breathlessness could be due to the effects of increased inactivity, heart disease, worsening asthma or pulmonary disease. All of the symptoms associated with this extra breathlessness can be enough to contribute to a long term decrease in activity. And here starts the viscous circle of further respiratory muscle atrophy and further breathlessness. Termed as the viscous circle of respiratory muscle weakness!
So what can we do about it?
One report I have recently read states that exercise alone cannot provide respiratory muscle training. I was also told this when I was in hospital last year, breathing exercises are the only type of exercises that hit certain muscles associated with the respiratory system. Therefore, it seems to me the best way to give your system a workout is to combine both breathing and physical exercises. Without going through a load of reports and boring the pants off you, I have found that doing both type of exercises needs to be a priority. The lady in the video below explains how pulmonary rehab has worked for her, it’s not a great picture as I had to use the video on my phone and my Grandkids are making too much noise in the background but it’s watchable and it gives you an idea of its success and how worthwhile the exercise bit has been for her –
After watching this video you can see how important exercise is to us COPDers we need to be taking part in something every day! Housework used to be my exercise, running around with the hover to music and I loved walking. I also loved to dance, wonder if I will ever be able to do that again, well never say never! I have my appointment at the end of this week to see the Pulmonary Rehab Nurses at Huddersfield General Infirmary and I am going to do it this time. Every time I have done a course I have had to give up after a couple of weeks due to being such a baby and also getting a chest infection. Well this time I am going to step up and be a warrior again. ‘A COPD Warrior’, and the best bit will be that I will be able to do a video of a before and after for everyone to see on my Blog! Before anyone starts any exercise you must go and see your doctor or specialist and in order to exercise safely see the Pulmonary Rehab Team at your local hospital. They will show you how much exercise you can do for it to be safe to your personal fitness level. My daughter is coming with me on Friday and I will get her to video my session to put on the site and it will show you the type of testing you have to go through. Unfortunately my Rehab was put back because of a stupid arrhythmia that they are exploring but will carry on with all this as soon as they have it sorted.
The Breathing Exercises!
While I have been writing this post, I have mentioned breathing exercises as well as physical exercises for being the optimum type of routine to help with the respiratory muscles. To the left is a picture of a Power Breath, which you can get from your doctor on prescription. Don’t use it until you have been given the go from your specialist first. My respiratory team said that they recommend it to some patients but not all and it does work your respiratory muscles, so I am going to get mine out now and try it again. The last time I used mine after a few days I was in agony and could hardly breath but that was probably my respiratory muscles getting a workout and it would have passed eventually I think, like I said I am such a baby. So, I am going to have another go now that I am under the Pulmonary Rehab Team again. I will let you know how I get on with this too! Another good breathing exercise is Yoga and Pilates. I am going to look into that too. So happy exercising and talk again soon. And here is a lovely bit of music to exercise to or to put you in the mood for it!
Used to get me on the dance floor this song!
And another cant believe I was as thin as them in the 80’s
WHICH IS YOUR FAVORITE MOTIVATIONAL EXERCISE MUSIC? PLEASE ADD IT ON IN THE COMMENTS AND WE COULD DO A PAGE OF EXERCISE VIDEOS