Monday, September 7, 2009

Lung exercises

I have advocated routine long-lasting aerobic exercise for years. My daughter plays the flute and was required to get equipment for increase her lung volumes. This would help her hold the musical notes longer. Professional flautists have recommended this also. So we bought some. The least expensive was a Hudson RCI Venti-Comp 1550. This is essentially a large plastic bag measuring 4.8 liters. The idea is to fill the bag in as few breaths as possible and in the shortest time possible. Repeat many times, to simulate a concert. Not bad. Much like running cross country or on the treadmill or swimming. I like it. This is an option when you're at home or work, but you don't have time or space to exercise. By accident, I came across another substitute. While preparing for our camping trip to Philmont last summer, I had to inflate my portable mattress. That's another good exercise, since the mattress requires a lot of breaths to become fully inflated and there is resistance to blowing air in, much like blowing up a balloon.

Exercise like this is important for everyone, especially if you have a lung disorder. My classic example of how regular exercise can contribute positively to a person's health is Teddy Roosevelt. He grew up sickly from allergies and asthma. He committed himself to a lifelong program of exercises to improve his stamina and strengthen his body. I think it helped to reduce his symptoms and I think this can help my patients, which is why I recommend this to all of my patients, provided their allergies or asthma are under control first.

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