Weight: 12 stone
Powerbreathe model: powerbreathe plus: fitness
Activity level: high – I am a Great Britain Age Group triathlete and train twice a day, usually around 10-12 hours per week (plus the day job!)
I was interested to take part in this trial because I am asthmatic. I have been for around 15 years. Nowadays it causes me little trouble and I do not take any regular steroids, however I mostly notice chest pain and breathing trouble when I am training hard, and that is when I need my blue inhaler. I wanted to see if powerbreathe could help with this, so that eventually, I do not need any inhalers at all. I also feel that my asthma sometimes limits me during top end power sessions, which could be a problem because I am a sprint athlete, and I spend a lot of my time working at lactic threshold and beyond. I also compete for Great Britain as part of the Age Group triathlon team at European and World level.
I received the powerbreathe last week, and am curious to see what happens. I thought it would be easy to do the exercises but to be honest, when I tried the test set, and the first 30 on the easiest setting were easy, I turned it up, thinking, no problem. I only got to level 3 before my chest started hurting from the effort!!
The unit operates the opposite way to a peak flow meter. You suck in a sharp breath rather than exhale. I found it really hurt when I had to do 30 of these on level 3, much the same kind of chest pain I feel as an asthmatic when I am training or racing hard, beyond lactic threshold. Already after a few days, the chest pain has subsided at level 3, so I am feeling encouraged already.
Let’s see what happens next eh?
Well, I wasn’t sure what to expect when I first started using the powerbreathe, particularly as I am asthmatic. Although it affects me less now than it used to when I was a child, I still have trouble doing harder interval sessions on my bike and even heavier and more intense gym sessions can make me more breathless than I’d expect. I figured the powerbeathe would either kill or cure me!! I typically do CV work twice a week on my bike, which is mostly endurance work, but more recently I’ve included intervals. I also do weights in the gym 2 -3 times per week which is a combination of weight lifting and weight training. I was advised by the powerbreathe team not to use it for the first week, as I was recovering from a chest infection, so I started using it 4 days ago. Initially I found it difficult even on the lowest setting. Inhaling was difficult and also I felt it in my costo-vertebral joints (rib joints round the side of my spine). I managed about 12 breathes and stopped.
I’ve used it twice a day since then for 4 days and it continues to be difficult to be honest. I’m very interested to see how that changes over time. I am doing more breaths now I’m up to about 20. As yet I haven’t noticed any difference in my training or daily life.
Right so after a false start and premature submitting of Journal….daily, the week has come to an end and what a week:
I have taken my PBK3 into work with me every day and due to its sleek light weight design this is a very portable device, it also comes with a nice cloth bag to carry it arround.
After using my POWERbreathe daily I have noticed that my reliance on my asthma inhailers have got less, with the PBK3 there is a digital display which shows you how well your performing and you can track your performance on the device and upload it to your PC.
On Saturday 18 June I took part in a 3 hour Kickboxing / self defence seminar and I hadn’t noticed at the time but soon realised towards the end that I wasn’t out of breath or wheezing.
Comming up in week 2 I will be taking my PBK3 unit camping…..watch this space. Also in week 2 I will be visiting my asthma nurse so will get an update on my peak flow (amount of air stored in your lungs is measured by blowing into a device similar to a POWERbreathe and is registered on a dial).
Hi everyone I’m back with my 12th journal entry!! This week has seen the return of the running…still not quite sure why I’ve signed up to do another marathon but hey I have so I better get back in that mind frame asap! Have to say though it has been a bit of a torture this week….the air quality has been shocking so breathing in itself has been worse never mind trying to run in it as well.
The runs I’ve had have had to be on the coast as that’s about the only place I can catch my breath and there has been more walking than normal but I’m putting that down to the air and my rather lacking motivation!! Air quality seems to be getting better now though wish we had some sunshine to go with the muggy air but no such luck! Tuesday and Thursday I went to my usual combat classes – think my toes are now mended enough to try body balance again next week so I’m looking forward to that my legs could use it!
Still haven’t figured out what Farlek training is, this week seems to have just disappeared from me with running, weddings and working!! I will endeavor to find out for next week when hopefully I will have covered twice as much mileage as well!! Talk to you all then 🙂
Hello my name is Andrea Cunningham and I am currently training for the Belfast marathon on 2nd May but I have asthma so I am finding it difficult to breath, I had heard about POWERbreathe and decided I would get the POWERbreathe Sports Performance plus model in the hope it would improve my lung function to enable me to train harder and better. In the beginning I couldn’t run very far at all without getting out of breath a mere 200metres probably!! Gradually with time I have got much better but still after about 1mile I get out of breath so now I have started using the POWERbreathe Sports Performance plus model in the hope it helps!!
I’ve had the model about 2 weeks now and in the beginning it did take some getting used to clipping your nose shut and breathing through the machine with my ears popping but I am getting used to it now and I make sure I leave it out so I remember to use it each morning before I leave for work and every evening. I started off at level 0 for the first few days as I did find it quite hard to do 30 breaths in one go but that was also probably because I wasn’t used to the machine. Now I am gradually increasing the load and I am nearly at level 1. This week instead of long runs my training has consisted of interval training where you run for 1kilometre and then walk for 3minutes ten times in a row so you are constantly pushing yourself so it difficult to know if there has been any improvement yet as this is hard to do I am always out of breath anyway!! Next week it’s back to the last of the long runs before the big day and then interval training again the following couple so I hoping by the time I get back round to it I will be much better.
I am running the Titanic 10k race this Sunday so I am eager to see if any improvement had been made with my breathing already though I know it has only been a short space of time. With very little time on my hands at the minute as I am having to run so many miles everyday after work I haven’t been able to spend a lot of time discovering my new purchase but I fully intend to use it to warm up on Sunday using the guidelines and I now have a POWERbreathe fitness DVD so I cannot wait to try that out at home in the next couple of weeks! Well that’s all for now folks until next week, I’ll let you know how I get on wish me luck!! If anybody is feeling generous and can spare a few pennies all this torture is for a great charity and you can sponsor me online at: www.justgiving.com/joanneandandrea
30th May 2011
Another tiring week but it’s worth it for my mother. My exercise regime has really gone out of the window, just Pilates once a week and my POWERbreathe (with a few days missed), but something has to give.
However, before you start to feel too sorry for me, next week I am popping over to Italy, NE of Milan, to see my friend for a few days before it gets so humid over there. Me and humidity are not a good combination, it gives me very bad fatigue. I will be armed with my summer clothes, swimming stuff and my faithful heavy resistant POWERbreathe – sorted!
I’m leaving my father to hold the fort and my sister is coming over for a day to help my mother.
06 June 2011
My visit to Italy was wonderful. It was great to see my friend and her husband again with their newborn, now 3 months old, but already quite a ‘chatty’ fun character. For the weekend we went to Lake Garda, only an hour from their home. It was very relaxing and I would recommend it to all. Hopefully she will come over to England when her husband goes away on business.
Obviously, I missed looking after my Ma but was very thankful for a rest – boy did I need it!
Objective for this week is to get back to my exercise regime, one knows that you have to do more. I’ll report back next week with my progress.
13th June 2011
I am slowly getting back to some kind of exercise routine. Doing more throughout the day and when I go to bed; A few exercise before I go to sleep and when I wake up in the middle of the night. My brain seems to work overtime so it is a good distraction. I have picked up my POWERbreathe again but at the mo. no improvement on my strength – I need to try harder!
At the w/e I went to see some friends at the Stratford Boat Club regatta, I haven’t shown my face for a couple of years now. It was good to catch up and here everyone’s news. I was a Cox there for ~4yrs but then my Cerebellum Tremor made it difficult for me to focus, a fundamental requirement for a Cox!!! It was excellent fun and good to be involved a team sport again. As for my coordination, I always had a helping hand getting in to the boat.
16 May 2011
It has been quite a worrying and busy week, as my mother went into hospital on Thursday for a hip replacement operation. Excellent news, it all went well – PHEW! Hopefully, she will get discharged on Tuesday/Wednesday.
However, I did manage to get a few jobs done myself prior to her appointment; one of them was to see my Doctor. We talked about my amalgam fillings and like the Dentist said there is no rush in getting them removed. So my suggestion to the dentist when I see him next is to do one a year.
Here are some stats for you on my progress with the POWERbreathe K3:-
- S-Index – 66 cmH2O – FAIR
- Flow – 3.8 L/s
- Volume – 1.9 Litres
23rd May 2011
My mother was discharged from hospital on Tuesday. It really is quite remarkable and what a difference it has made, and it is only early days after her hip replacement. She has definitely got her mojo back. My father and I are doing what we can to help her out and to keep the house in order.
When I have extra on my plate other things have to go by the wayside, otherwise I will start to suffer. So my exercise has gone to the back of the queue but I am still doing my Pilates on a Monday and POWERbreathe every night. I need to pick the rest up ASAP. I also want to get my breathing strength up to GOOD. I like to give myself targets.
09 May 2011
I have had a fun week. I went to stay with one of my sisters for a couple of days, with a bit of a shopping trip in the middle.
Shopping with a sister is great and can be quite painful on your wallet too! We haven’t had a shopping spree for over a year, so we had to make up for it!
My stamina was excellent – up to 8 hrs worth! I suppose what really lets me down are my Cerebellum Tremors that effect my coordination and my head stability, so I find if I link my arms with someone, that takes a lot of strain out of the equation. If I shop on my own, 1hour is usually my max.
I did take my POWERbreathe with me but that stayed in my bag. Sleep and refuelling my energy cells were much more important. I got back in my routine once back home, plus I am using my POWERbreathe K3 that gives me stats to allow me to monitor myself more accurately. I am a bit of a statistics nerd!
02 May 2011
I’m a great believer of preventative/proactive medicine.
I don’t take anything for my MS, except if I have a bad relapse I do go into hospital for a 5 day course of IV (intravenous) steroids.
There is no cure out there – YET!? I am hoping that stem call replacement comes up trumps but that could be 10-15 yrs away. In the meantime I find managing my own situation is the best route for me, plus I need to keep myself in as good health and mobility as I can.
I take certain supplements on a daily basis; a multi vitamin, borage (starflower) oil, vitamin D and seaweed. On an exercise front I do Pilates once a week and some core stability exercises, daily, that I do in bed, even at 2 or 3am in the morning when I can’t sleep, and of course my POWERbreathe. I do more if my body is up to it, swimming is my favourite, and is excellent as you don’t have to concentrate on balancing.
I am also in the process of getting my amalgam fillings replaced. I had 3, just 2.5 more to go. I’d read somewhere that mercury causes insomnia, and I also read something about before any stem cell replacement they would remove all amalgam fillings, unfortunately however, I now can’t find the article. I really am no good with injections plus going to the dentist is not my favourite past time. However, I currently have an excellent dentist and I trust him, so what am I waiting for? I always like to look on the bright side of things, no more ‘silver’ lumps in your mouth hence, improving your smile! And I will be OK for any stem cell treatment if it comes along, plus, maybe, less insomnia.
25 April 2011
This is really a two-week update due to a busy time, with many a guest coming over for the weekend for a fun and entertaining Easter coupled with my birthday celebration. We had a fab time! Plus another long weekend we have just had with the big royal wedding.
I do have to confess I haven’t been to the gym in this period but my faithful POWERbreathe has kept up my strength and stamina alongside some Pilates exercises that I do in bed.
I don’t think I told you about what my fitness level was when I joined the gym back in March. I had to have a fitness assessment – remember I don’t run nor do I do any aerobic exercise as my lack of balance cannot take this and the fatigue would hit me hard. The only exercise I was doing was Pilates and using my POWERbreathe. The results came in and classified me as VERY FIT. I was so amazed as I always thought fitness came from running about etc.
All I can put it down to is the positive effects I have had from the POWERbreathe, making my lungs more efficient…
I will never give it up and thank you HaB for designing such a simple but very effective bit of equipment.
Details on POWERbreathe website