- STARTING AN EXERCISE PROGRAM
- By Mary Burns
- If you have restrictive lung disease, such as pulmonary fibrosis, you need to be especially careful to move very slowly when you start to exercise. You may have a tendency to drop your oxygen level very quickly if you move too fast.
- Another warning, for all of you: if your doctor prescribed oxygen with exercise, use it! Keep your oxygen saturation above 88%, preferably over 90%, when exercising. Your doctor may wish you to keep it at 93%. It will help your endurance and prevent a strain on your heart. Do you have congestive heart failure? With the permission of your physician, the above exercise prescription may help you, also. Discuss this with your physician.
BORG Exertion Required 0 Nothing at all 0.5 Very, very slight (just noticeable) 1 Slight 3 Moderate 4 Somewhat severe 5 Severe 6 7 Very Severe 8 9 Very, Very severe (almost maximal) 10 Maximal
- Starting an exercise program can be very difficult - so why bother? Is it really worth it? You bet, it is! We could list a whole page of benefits, but the biggest benefit is the freedom you will again have. Being limited to an area only as large as that which you can cover in a few minutes of walking is worse than being in jail! No wonder people with respiratory disease often are depressed or irritable. Who wouldn't be! And that is another benefit of exercise. Your sense of well being will increase and life will feel worth living again. You'll sleep better at night. Your arthritis usually improves and is better than it has been in years. Bronchial secretions at first seem to increase, as you cough them up after walking. But a regular exercise program is the best thing you can do to decrease your sputum or get rid of it entirely. So then what happens? You aren't as susceptible to infections and you feel better!
- Would you like to tell us some of the other benefits you have gotten from a regular exercise program? We'd love to hear from you.
- This is an example of the diary used during rehab, to document improvement in exercise. The BORG scale is a way you can monitor your shortness of breath and exertion on a scale of 1 to 10. Remember to aim for a 3, which is "moderate", for SOB or exertion. Later, when you gain more control over your breathing, you can push yourself harder. Good luck! We'll be waiting to hear how this plan works for you.