How do I… exercise in a bed or chair?
Exercise is important for all of us to stay fit and healthy. However, it can be difficult to exercise with a condition such aspergillosis, and you may only be able to manage small, gentle bursts at a time. Here are some of our suggestions for exercising in a bed or a chair.
Techniques and ideas: Be realistic, celebrate small successes, remember to breathe, and STOP if it hurts.
Gradually ramp up your exercise programme at a pace YOU can manage using the FITT principles: Frequency, Intensity, Time, Type.
Go on YouTube to find chair-based versions of all your favourite exercise classes, or try something new and fun to keep you motivated: Zumba, kickboxing, belly dance…
Aspergillosis specific exercises: Try out some exercises recommended by LIFE (Leading International Fungal Education worldwide), or these suggested by the NHS.
Your GP may be able to refer you to a pulmonary rehabilitation programme, where you will work with a physiotherapist to improve your fitness and learn to understand your own abilities to control symptoms such as breathlessness.
If you are recovering from thoracic surgery, it is important to stretch out your upper body: read the NHS advice on recovery post-surgery.
Exercising with osteoporosis: Many aspergillosis patients will be prescribed steroids to control inflammation. Unfortunately, one of the side effects of steroid use can be osteoporosis, a loss of bone strength. Patients with osteoporosis may worry that exercise could put them at risk of breaking or fracturing bones, but in fact this is very unlikely! Exercise is very important for those with osteoporosis, as it can strengthen bone and muscle and improve balance. The Royal Osteoporosis Society has produced some very useful videos, and a comprehensive fact sheet about exercising with osteoporosis, that can be found on their website.