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  • Exercising off oxygen?

    Posted by natalie-mondor on July 25, 2022 at 12:35 am

    Hello Everyone

    I’ve just finished 6 weeks of PR and was using an oxygen tank. During that time, the therapist gradually lowered the amount from 4 to 3 lpm. I have also steadily increased the exercise routine and I can tell the positive effects of that on my breathing. I still have 6 weeks to go. Is it possible that I can exercise my way off this 24/7 oxygen ? Have any of you had any luck getting off or reducing your need for oxygen?



    gloria-m-wheeler replied 1 year, 1 month ago 7 Members · 10 Replies
  • 10 Replies
  • gloria-m-wheeler

    July 27, 2022 at 1:56 am

    I do need supplemental o2 to exercise.  The one activity I’ve found that I can do without O2 is swimming.  I’ve always loved to swim and while on vacation with my family asked my daughter to standby with my O2. I took the plunge in a warm salt water pool and was able to swim back and forth without any shortness of breath and NO oxygen.  I am currently awaiting the reopening of a warmer indoor pool & am excited to give it a go!!  Has anyone else out there had a similar experience?  It was totally amazing and made me feel alive and “normal” again.  Does anyone have thought (other than buoyancy) on why this worked??  Thank you in advance for your thoughts & ideas!!

  • millie

    July 27, 2022 at 9:29 am

    Lucky you. I used to swim laps 3 days a week and can no longer do so. I use oxygen 24/7 but only at 2 litres. I can swim some but when I get out of the water and check my levels it is down in the 80’s.

  • karen-martin

    July 27, 2022 at 10:38 am

    Sadly, I have been told by my pulmonlogist that the only way you can really decrease your need for supplemental O2 through PT is if you are pretty out of shape to start with.  Otherwise, there is no “curing” the need for O2.  I have recently been through a course of monitored PT and even though my stamina is better than it was and I can work for longer periods of time without feeling SOB, I still require the same amount of O2 when walking.  Being in better shape is a great reward and I am enjoying it, but the need for O2 remains.

    As for the luck with swimming, perhaps your breathing technique is better when you are in the water.  That’s absolutely wonderful!!  Enjoy it.  🙂

    • gloria-m-wheeler

      August 3, 2022 at 4:17 pm

      We just need to keep doing what ever we can. It is sometimes so disheartening.  Thank you for your response!!

  • malcolm-mann

    July 29, 2022 at 5:42 pm

    Hi Gloria

    I’m a swimmer and I’m not on O2, I can swim with a pull bouy (float put between the knees) or a swimming wet suit to provide bouyancy. I only do freestyle & don’t kick at all, if I kick I become breathless after 25m.

    Without kicking I can keep going, presently doing 1.2km 3 times a week in 150-250m sets.

    It’s great lung exercise

    Cheers Mal



  • kathleen-ryan

    August 2, 2022 at 4:10 pm

    Hi everyone1 I recently completed a 9 week pulmonary rehab, and it showed I improved 15% .  During this, my PT decreased my oxygen to see how I did, and ultimately I still needed the O2.  I could walk further before I was too sob to go on, so I did improve, but I think it’s more or less just getting in shape overall. I do feel much more confident in being independent since I completed the therapy.

  • adele-friedman

    August 3, 2022 at 2:30 pm

    I can do pool exercise without oxygen.  More water aerobics type workout than swimming per se, but go for over a half hour at a time.  I am not fully dependent on oxygen, but it helps.  Currently doing Noah Greenspan’s PR video program and at about the time the walk exceeded 7 minutes, I decided I needed some oxygen while walking.  One thing I’ve learned is that because of my relatively poor diffusing capacity, oxygen isn’t able to transfer into my blood, nor carbon dioxide out, as efficiently.  To a great extent, that low-ish DLCO score is the reason just throwing more oxygen at the problem doesn’t always help as much as we might wish.

  • gloria-m-wheeler

    August 3, 2022 at 4:10 pm

    Thank you for your response!!!  Do you track your O2 sats while swimming. If so, how do you manage to do so?  O2 sat monitor poolside or ??

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