Smile Through It II: The Next Chapter

Chasing dreams, because I can

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Pootling along nicely

Posted by Oli on Wednesday 31st October, 2007

Up to Oxford today for my mid-IV once-over, during which all signs were pointing to “pretty good”.  “Good” is obviously a relative term, but compared to last week, where I was perched on the verge of a bit of a down-turn, things are doing pretty well.

Lung function is up to 0.75/1.5 from 0.7/1.2, which is a goodly leap (18%/30% from 17%/24%) in the space of a week, my sats are holding steady around the 90% mark on 2l O2 per minute and my exercise tolerance is improving.

Yesterday we took delivery of a brand new exercise bike from the lovely Fitness for Hire, a company who loan out exercise equipment so you can see whether or not you’re likely to get into the habit of using it without throwing away a whole heap of dough on something that’s just going to sit and gather dust.  We’ve loaned it for 4 weeks for starters and if it doesn’t get used, it’ll just go back, no hassle.

The theory is, according to the Physios-Who-Know, that working on a bike is easier on the chest/lungs than step-ups with Goliath as the tendency is not to desaturate so quickly.  I don’t know why that is, or exactly how the process works, but what it basically means is that by using the bike I will be able to do more exercise without getting so out of breath.  This, in turn, should mean that I can make my muscles do more work, rather than my lungs stopping me before my muscles really get a work out, and the muscular improvment will serve to improve the flow and use of oxygen around the body, meaning that I require less oxygen to do everyday tasks, which means I get less breathless while doing them.

Theory is all well and good, but we know how my body likes to throw googlies (or curveballs, if you’re more comfortable with the American vernacular), so having the option to bail out on the purchase of a hefty piece of equipment is a good option for right now.

I have to say, having had a wee spin on a bike at Oxford today, it certainly looks promising as a less intense form of exercise.  Obviously, there are different levels of resistance and speed settings and a whole host of other options, but the great thing about it is that the very basic starting point is easily managable, giving a lot more leeway in terms of turning things up or down as my chest may dictate from day-to-day.  The trouble with step-ups is that they are very set-in-stone – it’s a set distance, with a set weight (my body-weight), over a set time.  The bike, on the other hand, has myriad ways of making things easier or harder as my body goes through it’s yo-yo routine.

Once again – and as usual – we’ll wait and see what comes of it.  I don’t want to get too over-excited at something that’s just going to fall by the wayside again, but the promise is there for something with potential.

Sadly no progress on the script today, because the trip to Oxford has pretty much sucked the energy out of me, so it’s probably a night in front of the TV tonight, maybe catching a flick or something.  But it’s been a positive day, so I’m not going to moan about a little bit of tiredness at the end of it.

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One Response to “Pootling along nicely”

  1. rob said

    Glad it’s been a good day but remember you don’t have to wear bicycle clips on an exercise bike!!

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