I’ve progressed well this week and I’m now at resistance 3 on the performance plus model, to feel improvement in breathing strength already has surprised me alot but I’ve stuck to the routine of using my powerbreath twice a day and I think this is obviously the direct result of this. My fitness has continued to rise and I feel so much more comfortable with my breath control, and also with this I’m finding a lot less tension in my chest and inter-costal muscles. Over all I’d say the improvements are starting to show through and I’m looking forward to the future progression and developments with more extensive use of the powerbreathe.
Since my scare, I am definitely pacing myself better. My exercise regime has been more of the same but I didn’t get to go swimming. I thought that would be a step too far but it is definitely on the agenda for this week coming.
I have been going through all those boxes in the spare room and even though I haven’t been so ruthless, I have cut the box count by 15% – not bad really. I now need to find a decorator to give the room a fresh look and put the gorgeous wallpaper that I bought on a screen that I made out of MDF, to hide the boxes behind.
I’m usually very practical myself and would have done the decoration myself in previous years. But, the MS I have has damaged my cerebellum (the control box in your brain), hence, I get cerebella tremor. This makes my coordination not good and sometimes my hands just erratically jerk. So it’s best to avoid those jobs that need a steady hand. Cooking and handling a knife is also best to be avoided. My food is cut up for me and if I go to restaurants I tend to choose easy to manage food and always eat with a spoon.
I have a bit of a confession to make… Last week in Cambridge my stability just went. I had minimal muscle tone in my hips and legs and my balance was all over the place. I didn’t want to say anything last week because I didn’t want to spoil the great weekend we had, plus, I do like to look on the positive side of things and this would only spoil it. I was also a tad ashamed with myself because I do pride myself on my exercises and fitness. However, over the last month I have been overdoing things – for me – and I know I have had to cut down on my exercise so I could do everything throughout the day. The biggest scare was how quickly I lost muscle tone.
The good news is I have turned the corner and am rebuilding again. My physio knows me too well and knows I go at things full blast and in the process exhaust myself. So I have been walking about 250m down a slight incline and back up again twice a day, concentrating on firing up my muscles in doing so i.e. squeezing buttocks and pulling up pelvic floor. Doing this makes my posture look great! I have also been doing my floor exercises for about 10mins every night and my Pilates every week.
So more of the same this week and I may go for a swim as well.
The big lesson that I have taken from this, is never let one’s exercises take 2nd place. They are so fundamental and crucial to one’s mobility and functioning.
Week 2 saw my PBK3 unit go camping.
I went camping with my family and had to keep things to a minimum, my PBK3 unit was able to be stowed away in my luggage without taking up too much room.
Day 1 of camp. I woke up and wasn’t wheezy despite the obvious damp outside (where is the summer??) I eat breakfast, take 30 breaths on my unit and head off for a morning run…on my return a friend of mine has the unit in his hand “inspecting it” or so he claims?? Asks what it can do so I explain about how it can strengthen my lungs and improve my fitness.
Over the weekend I continue to use the unit (twice a day 30 breaths each)
I also notice I am not using my preventer inhailer as much….coincidence?
Today (Monday 4th July) I visit my asthma nurse and show her the device… A praise for keeping on top of my care. My peak flow reading is up on last visit too 350 compaired to 330.
All round a good week.
This week I have been continuing on my progress in and out of the pool. Weights and core resistance work in the gym and then lots of hypoxic exercises in the pool. Hypoxic exercises in the context of swimming training involves lots of breath holding and having to swim whilst doing so. It can be really tough at times but by using my powerbreathe I’m starting to already feel my breathing muscles becoming stronger. I’m putting these amazing early gains down to the twice a day every day routine and the added fact that because I train at elite level my body has learnt to adapt/ recover to fitness and strength training faster and faster as time goes by. It’s meant that I’ve been able to hold my breath longer and longer whilst feeling slightly more in control of my asthma. I used to react terribly to intensive exercise in most forms, losing all control of my breathing, but im starting to see that all that I need to do is to train and learn to control these muscles required to do so. The progress with this is slow but steady and the most important factor is that it’s continual, the harder I can push on the powerbreathe and remain in control the better and faster the results I can see in and out of the pool.
20th June 2011
By mid-week I started to get a lot more energy and hit the boxes in my dressing room/spare room that were from the house I sold when my MS got so bad that I had to move in with my parents. I have done this before but need to be more ruthless this time, plus I’m giving the room a bit of a makeover. I have given myself until August as a deadline so as not to put any pressure on myself. I do get excited about it though and can’t wait ‘til it’s finished.
This weekend I had my annual long weekend away with one of my sisters. It was Cambridge this year which was lovely, plus we had a lunch at Jamie Oliver’s. I would fully recommend it, not only for the delicious food but it was very decently priced.
I took my POWERbreathe with me and in the morning we also did a Pilates session. We felt good for doing it.