As a personal trainer, I have always enjoyed lifting weights. Now, with bronchiectasis and a history of MAC, I have an extra reason to stay strong.
I am at the gym most days and enjoy writing my social media posts and working with clients in between 30 minute workout sessions. Sometimes, I just do one session and other times a second one or an additional half-session.
Before heading to the gym I have peanut butter on toast, greek yogurt and/or eggs. Maybe a banana or berries. And, my “must-have” coffee. Then after my workout I eat again, being sure to have more protein and carbohydrates.
This is the only way I am able to have the energy to work out and the ability to add muscle. Lately, I have been separating my upper and lower body workouts, but there isn’t a “one way only” approach. I pay attention to my chest and neck muscles so that they are strong for airway clearance. I also stretch them to prevent neck pain and tightness.
As I discuss in my book, “The BE CLEAR Method to Living with Bronchiectasis,” it is also critical to strengthen and stretch our back muscles because of our tendency to round forward during coughing and while using lung clearance devices.
Taking this “front and back” approach is what is going to strengthen our body in a functional and holistic way. It will help our posture, our breathing, and our overall body strength and endurance. It can also create confidence.
Start slowly. The exercises in my book are perfect for beginners. They also work well for more experienced exercisers who are looking to identify imbalances and create full-body fitness.
Remember to always nourish your body before and after your workout. Otherwise you will not be able to achieve maximal results. Those of us with GERD will want to wait a bit before exercising. Additionally, as we discussed in a previous post, it is a good idea to eat a carb to absorb stomach fluid and minimize reflux.
Before you modify, start or stop any exercise program, you should get medical clearance from your physician.
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Linda Cooper Esposito, MPH is a health educator with bronchiectasis. She developed the BE CLEAR Method to Living with Bronchiectasis and writes with compassion and humor about this chronic lung disease.