How is Your Exercise Routine Going So Far This Year?

Posted on January 19, 2017   |   

by Rebecca Crouch, DPT, MS, CCS - Pulmonary Physical Therapist


Now is the time to make those New Year’s Resolutions and get active!

First, a few motivating facts:

  • Did you know that only 150 minutes over a 7 day week of moderate-intensity activity will offer enormous advantages to your current and future cardiac and PULMONARY health? What does moderate-intensity mean? It means that your exercise feels challenging: not too hard and not too easy. If you don’t feel a little winded and moist from perspiration, then you probably aren't working quite hard enough.
  • On high energy days, plan continuous (non-stop) “aerobic” exercise for 20-30 minutes. Examples are treadmill walking, walking in your neighborhood or a nature trail, stationary bicycling, water walking or light swimming. You may want to wear a mask outside if you’re sensitive to smells and pollen.
  • On moderate energy days, break your exercise up into increments. For example, walk for 10 minutes 2 to 3 times that day. Interval exercise has been found to be almost as effective as longer, continuous exercise in promoting pulmonary health.
  • On terrible, ugly, “I don’t want to get out of bed” days, break up your “activity” periods into even smaller and frequent increments. For example, walk around a set pathway inside your house for 5 minutes at least 4-6 hours of that day; i.e. from 10 AM to 10:05 AM and so forth. If you’re able to do that, then you’ll get in your 20-30 minutes of physical activity.
  • Oh yes, and don’t forget some meditative breathing, stretching of chest and other major joints, and muscle strengthening. Dumbbells, wrap around cuff weights, and flexible stretch bands are all reasonably priced items to have “conveniently” lying around the house. Make it fun and design a “strength, stretch, and breathe” obstacle course or exercise stations. Add a step stool or a flight of stairs to enhance the challenge and shape up those leg muscles.

Shorts weather is just around the corner!


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  • I feel great after I work out, my attitude towards this sickness changes. It enhances my mood, and overall I feel great. Unfortunately since October I started developing joint pain in my knees, and I am doing exercises where I am not using them like squats, jumping...but it has not stopped me from doing. I started working out one year prior my diagnosis which was 2014. Exercise is something that I do not want to stop!!!

  • Hola Rebecca, thanks a lot for this information!

    I used to run but changed to swimming since August last year. I feel great after going to the pool. I haven´t been there in two weeks though. It is an inside pool but they decided that it was a great idea to turn the AC, so I got sick a day after that. AC is my kryptonite. I´m also recovering from a contracture in the IB band, so it has been a little but frustrating these days but I´m ready to hit the pool this week again.

    I have to step up my game and do the walks you suggest during "ugh" days, because when those come, it´s hard for me to get up and do it.

  • I'm so glad to have stumbled on this article after filling out the recent survey for the Patient Benefit research conference. A lot of my LAM questions center on exercise. For example, how helpful has my routine been to keeping my symptoms minimal all these years? My LAM specialist told me to push myself a little harder if I'm not experiencing shortness of breath on my aerobic exercise machines at the gym? How do I know how hard to push? If I take my oximeter, and my O2 levels sink below 90, should I just rest, recover, and then resume? Similarly, I think hikes up hills may be good for me. Is there a point where risks outweigh benefits? I also enjoy yoga, and I think the breath work in classes is very beneficial. Are any studies published or in progress evaluating the benefits of exercise? How would I find out if I could participate? If I went for pulmonary rehabilitation, would they have answers to all these questions? Would insurance cover the rehab, or would I first have to meet certain criterion? Thanks for any advice!

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