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I've Been Doing Pulmonary Rehab Exercise Class But Note Little Overall Health Or Breathing Improvement. You?

A MyCOPDTeam Member asked a question πŸ’­

After a couple months, I do feel that my muscle groups are somewhat toned up. But they ache for a couple days after class. I'm wondering if a gentler, more "organic" form of exercise such as Tai Chi or Chi gong or yoga might be more beneficial. I guess my main question is what sort of benefits can I hope to derive from exercise?
What's your practice and experience?

posted March 9, 2018
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A MyCOPDTeam Member

If you're cramping up and your muscles are sore after every session, you may be trying to do more than is appropriate for your level of fitness at those sessions. I would reduce the tension so that the exercise isn't as difficult. Go down to a low setting that is comfortable and do 10 minutes or whatever they have you doing for at least two or three days. When that's comfortable, increase the tension by one and keep working up. I think that will help. If your muscles are sore for just a day, that's pretty typical and I would keep doing what you're doing. If they're sore for more than that, reduce the tension.

What are you doing the other four days? That's part of the issue, I suspect; you're only exercising those three days. You need to be doing things every day; not the same things necessarily, but you need to be doing both aerobic and strengthening exercises every day. That's the way you get stronger.

I've been exercising nearly every day since early 2003. I do at least 45 minutes of aerobic stuff every day and work with weights at least three times a week. It took me about a month of every day workouts before I began to feel the difference in my breathing, but almost immediately, I had more energy, I was more focused and I really felt better. The key for me was pushing myself a little bit every week: increasing the speed on the treadmill little by little and starting with very light weights and moving up a little bit every other week or so.

I'm 73, my FEV1 is 35%, I still work part time and flat least twice a month. I haven't been really sick in over 5 years (find some wood quick!) and have been on 17 planes since the first of the year and haven't had anything so far. i credit my exercise program and my parents for giving me a really good immune system for being able to do this. Life is a lot of fun in spite of COPD.

posted March 10, 2018
A MyCOPDTeam Member

Thank you. I am still waiting to get into pulm rehab. You say you have end stage? You stated you have oxygen nearby? I am on oxygen 24-7 and also have end stage. Did pulm rehab help with oxygen use?

posted April 23, 2018
A MyCOPDTeam Member

I was told it does not heal you but it does make you stronger. Therefor you do not get sick as often, or as bad.

posted March 13, 2018
A MyCOPDTeam Member

KarynMaronde hope you are still reading this. There is an online pulmonary rehab class at

posted February 1, 2020
A MyCOPDTeam Member

I sympathize with the "no hope" feeling. But I'm checking into one new possibility -- the Zephyr valves procedure now being done at several hospitals.
Google Pulmonx valves.

posted April 13, 2019

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