This is the March update from Breathing Better Living Well!

Couple walking through treesThey say “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” This is so true, but most especially when it comes to exercise for the person with COPD or other chronic lung disease.

Have you ever wondered how you, a person with shortness of breath, can possibly exercise when you’re having trouble just getting up and walking to the bathroom? Well, I’m here to tell you that’s it is not only possible, but it is very do-able, and can even be a lot of fun!

This month we’re talking about Pulmonary Rehabilitation and exercise for the person with COPD and chronic lung diseases. Pulmonary Rehab can help you breathe better, feel better, and have more strength and stamina, all while learning about your lungs and making new friends who understand just what you’re going through. What could be better than that?

We’ve got a great new article here at BBLW by Roxlyn Cole. Some of you have heard about “Lyn,” a lady with COPD who knows, first hand, the benefits of exercise for people with COPD. Lyn wrote this article about her friend, Mike McBride, who will be participating in the upcoming Boston Marathon! Mike has COPD and requires supplemental oxygen, but that hasn’t stopped him from getting out there and doing what he wants to do! Now, not all of us can be in the Boston Marathon, but we can all do something to get into better shape. Read this inspiring story, see the neat photos, and hear what Lyn says about adding just one minute a week to your exercise routine. You can now find a link to Lyn’s blog from our home page. (Look for the "Blogs" button in the dark-blue, left-side navigation list.)

Hmmm … adding just one minute? Can that really make a difference? It sure can! That’s how we do it in our pulmonary rehab program. Our fabulous exercise physiologist has a way of helping pulmonary patients make big improvements just by making tiny little changes in each session. Even if you’re very limited in what you’re able to do physically, you can start out slow and easy – and make great strides.

For more about Pulmonary Rehab, what it’s all about and how it works, check out my article on Health Central, Reclaiming Your Life Through Pulmonary Rehab.

If you or someone you know is newly diagnosed with COPD or other chronic lung disease, take a look at First Steps to Better Breathing with Chronic Lung Disease. We get letters all the time from folks who are newly diagnosed. Many times they’re so overwhelmed and/or discouraged, they simply don’t know where to begin. Well, this is where to begin. Take a look. And to make it easier for you to share something on our site, we’ve installed the “Tell a Friend” feature. Just click on the “Tell a Friend” icon and it will bring you right to email.

Here’s more help, this one for COPD Caregivers. The COPD Foundation is proud to announce the launch of a new information line dedicated to the caregivers of individuals with COPD. The COPD Caregiver’s Information Line offers support for the caregiver seeking information, assistance, or even just a talk with a fellow caregiver.

They also have a special Caregiver Q&A with a list of questions and answers that can help give caregivers ideas on some things they can do.

Do you have questions about Pulmonary Rehab… or maybe you want to share your experience. Come on over to our BBLW community and tell us all about it! Click on the "Village Gym."

On Monday, April 6, I’ll be presenting a day-long workshop for health care professionals in Grand Island, Nebraska. The topic is: Excellence in Chronic Disease Management: Empowering COPD Patients to be Healthy, Happy and Independent. For more information, click the link above and go to the “What’s New from Jane?” forum at the top of the page.

I promise … Breathe Right! (Part I) and Breathe Right! (Part II) – Breathing Correctly, Consciously and Relaxed will be joined next month by Breathe Right! (Part III) by Dr. Vijai Sharma.

Today we’ve talked a lot about steps and strides and walking. Kind of interesting that right now I’m sitting here with ice on my ankle that I re-sprained over the weekend. Doctor’s orders are to stay off of it for now. So, I probably won’t be doing much walking today, myself. I guess you’ll just have to go in my place …

Take care, my friends. Breathe well, take one little step at a time … but keep on taking them … and I’ll see you again next month!


Little by little does the trick.
~~~ Aesop