A day in the life

Exercise and Heavy Breathing

I just spent a week with my lovely granddaughter. I adore having her but she is five and has a lot of energy that I don’t have. It was a good test of my lung power though. We went swimming every day. Got in a good hour or so of exercise every day. Where I live has two pools, one indoor and one outdoor.  We went to the outdoor one. It is nice. We would swim for 45 minutes get out, snack, reapply SPF 1000 sunscreen and get back. Ok might have exaggerated a bit on the SPF but not much. I only had to use the rescue inhaler once or twice while swimming.  That is until the end of the week.

Not sure if it was  bad air days, they are plowing near me.  I might have been something else, but on Saturday went walking to the pool with my honey. Had a heck of a time breathing, had to stop a lot to catch my breath. I don’t like that.  Even though I am overweight from all the steroids and not being able to exercise for a while, I did not expect it to be harder to exercise without taking the inhaled steroid.   I have been thinking on it. I am a person who analyzes things and tries to find solutions. I am much better at it without the steroids so strong n my system. Before, I was just amess, for happy to sad in 0.6 seconds.  Not even going to talk about the paranoia I experienced once in a while. You would have thought I was hormonal or something. I know it confused a lot of people including me.

But I digress. As I said, I like to figure out why. I took my rescue inhaler before walking. It wasn’t that hot. It had been 100 to 105 for the last week, but Saturday was glorious. My honey took the bag that contained our bathing suits and towel from me and that seemed to help. I was able to walk a little longer before stopping.  We went swimming in the indoor pool and I did great. I lost my breath but because I am fat and not the lungs acting up. There is a difference and I can feel it.  I also had no problem walking home.  No stops. No heavy breathing.


Norman H. Edelman, MD

“People with emphysema have very collapsible airways,” says Norman H. Edelman, MD, chief medical officer at the American Lung Association and professor of preventive medicine and internal medicine at the State University of New York at Stony Brook.”If you teach them to breathe in normally but breathe out through a narrow orifice of their lips, they keep the pressure up in their airways and it tends to prevent the large airways from collapsing.”



I think I figured it out.  I must exercise. It is what brought me to today. That, good eating and as much stress free living as I could do. I am off the one steroid and hoping that in my 3 month Appointment with the pulmonologist that I can get of the other inhaler. The Spiriva.  All that because of doing what I do. SO exercise is a must.   I can think of only five things that would affect my breathing when I was walking.

  1. Pace. Honey has long legs. He also is used to head down get where I am going type walking. I can’t keep up but I certainly try.
  2. Rescue Inhaler. I may not have taken the Albuterol properly. One must take one puff than wait 1 to five minutes before the second puff. I find that five minutes works the bet. I think I just did two puffs in rapid sequence thereby rendering the second dose not as effective.
  3. Bad Air Day. I mentioned it before but it is a factor for me. I f there is a lot of particles in the air, dust, ash miscellaneous stuff. It affects me adversely.
  4. Weight. Not mine (although yes a factor) but the weight of the bag I was carrying. With all our stuff in it, it probably weighed 15 pounds. Yea I know. I have been so focused on losing weight I have not been doing any strength training. Maybe time to start.
  5. Pursed Lip Breathing ( PLB). Say what? Yea I have talked about this. MY disease is such that I have a hard time breathing OUT.  Asthma and many other lung disease experience hard time breathing IN.  Because I trap air, one of the best ways to breath better is to use a technique called pursed lip breathing.  Basically you breathe in through your nose and out through your lips that are pursed, like for a kiss. Why does this work? It helps to keep the pressure up in your airway so you can release more air.



I think the last one is why I was breathing harder than normal. I tend to forget. This is dumb. I mean I like breathing, it keeps me living.  I do the PLB when I am exercising, when in the gym or at the pool. I forget that just walking is also exercise and in my case, dern good exercise. Oh well. Learn it to live. Pursed lip breathing and remembering I am not in competition with any, but myself, is the way I will continue to do so well, have such good lung function tests and perhaps get off the last inhaler.

Till next time.


Remember I am not a doctor. All things I write are about my experiences only. I do not intend nor can I diagnose or prescribe treatments. What works for me may not work for you. Please check with your doctor before stopping any medications and before starting any exercise program.