Modern Health and Fitness – Thanks POWERbreathe for the changes in my running times

Elspeth RaisbeckAnother month on and I’m seeing small incremental changes to my running times.  I’m running more consistently and still using my POWERbreathe to warm up which straightens out my lungs after a day hunched in the car or at my desk.

I think the POWERbreathe has benefited my exercise routine enormously and I’ll continue to use it every day.  I’ve currently improved to level 4 on my POWERbreathe Fitness Plus, which proves that my inspiratory muscles are improving in strength.

I’m also researching the benefits of the POWERbreathe/Inspiratory Muscle Training (IMT) for patients with breathing problemsasthma through to cystic fibrosis and heart failure.  This means wading through a lot of clinical research papers with long words written by people with planet-sized brains but no idea what a paragraph is!  When I’ve translated the long words into their 1 or 2-sylable counterparts I’ll be writing an article on IMT for one of the nursing journals in the UK.

That patients “get better at using the device” is a criticism levelled at some of the clinical tests for IMT. The argument is that patients don’t actually benefit from IMT but that they simply learn to use the device better and therefore improve on the outcome measures.

The general agreement is that, as the studies done so far are small, there needs to be more research.

But if I thought one of my patients would benefit from using a POWERbreathe then I would be prescribing one (the POWERbreathe Medic is available on prescription in the UK) or suggesting s/he bought one.  No question.

Thanks POWERbreathe!

Elspeth – Modern Health and Fitness

Modern Health and Fitness – POWERbreathe three months in already

Elspeth RaisbeckI’m now more than 3 months into my POWERbreathe challenge!  While the improvement and ease in my workouts has reached a satisfactory plateau – I’ve shaved about 30 seconds off my run times each week – they are still fun to do.

When I’m on my way home in the car after work I’m not wondering whether I’ll go for a run but planning the rest of the afternoon/evening round the run I’m going to do.  It’s part of my day, just as cleaning my teeth is and that’s what I’ve been struggling with for years – not ‘if’ but ‘when’!

Over the last months I’ve reached a few POWERbreathe workout conclusions:

  • Using it when working out is a dynamic way to improve respiratory fitness and gives even more leverage on the ‘static’ practice sessions (I know I’ve said that before).
  • I make a point of using it before a run as a warm up, especially if I’ve been slumped at my desk or in the car for hours.
  • When I’m tired and have stuff to do but can’t be bothered, a quick blast on my POWERbreathe makes all the difference and I have much more energy.

I hope to continue to see a gradual improvement in my run times and if I defy the laws of physics and shave off so much time that I start to meet myself coming back, I’ll let you know.

Modern Health and Fitness.

Modern Health and Fitness – POWERbreathe practice has slowed

Elspeth RaisbeckMy day job as a nurse is in teaching patients with Growth Hormone deficiency how to use their fancy electronic device that gives them daily injections of Growth Hormone.  A lot of my patients are children and the new gadget is great fun for the first few weeks but then the novelty wears off.  A big part of the job is keeping them on treatment long enough for it to do its job.

I am that child!  I’m 7 weeks into using my POWERbreathe and have found that I’m not practising as often as I need to be so I’m not feeling the benefit…which means I don’t practise so much as I’m not getting the positive feedback from my running that practice gives me.  And so the cycle goes on.

My POWERbreathe sits on my desk staring at me resentfully.

Over the last week I’ve made a real effort to break this cycle and have been using it with Swiss ball home exercise DVDs and on a more regular basis each day.  And I think I feel the plateau I’d reached with my running times and ‘ease scores’ starting to improve.

Note –to-self: keep practising – it won’t work unless you do.

Modern Health and Fitness – POWERbreathe for anyone with lungs

Elspeth RaisbeckPOWERbreathe first came to my attention many years ago when one of my patients who suffered breathing difficulties brought one to clinic and said that it had helped his breathing condition more than any of the inhalers he’d been given.  As his nurse I wasn’t in a position to tell him to throw them out and stick with the POWERbreathe but I think that’s what he probably did!

After that I started thinking about what a POWERbreathe could do for anyone with a pair of lungs – or even only 1 lung but for some reason it’s taken until now for me to get my own POWERbreathe. I’ve been using the Fitness Plus model for nearly 4 weeks.

Because I’m a bit of a saddo and love a good excuse for breaking open an Excel spreadsheet, I’ve been logging my stats so that I can see (as well as feel) the improvement in my fitness performance.  I’m not a heavy-weight fitness fanatic but I go running as often as I can, which is usually 3-6 days out of 7, and occasionally supplement that with home fitness DVDs.  So the stats look at how far I’ve run, the time it’s taken and how easy it was on a 1-5 scale (a 1 would see me leaping along like a young gazelle and when I have to stop halfway round my route, that would be a 5).  I also record how often I’m practising with the POWERbreathe and the resistance level.

So far I’ve got up to level 2 on the resistance and have been practising about once a day (Ok, so not optimal) but even in this short time I’m seeing and feeling a difference.

My running time over both my 2.5 mile and 4 mile routes have reduced by over 2 minutes and the ‘ease scores’ have also gone down from 4 to 2.5 which means that I’m enjoying the exercise a lot more.

Recently I’ve been using the POWERbreathe while I’m using the home exercise DVDs which gives an added dimension, and using it just before I go running gives me a lot more energy – probably unsurprisingly!

Keep checking back for regular updates


Modern Health & fitness