Hello, readers! It’s Russell Winwood here, and today, I want to talk about vegetables. If you’re anything like me, eating your vegetables may take you back to family dinners where your mom or dad made you sit at the table until you ate that broccoli. However, if you...read more
Hi, folks. Russell Winwood here, and for those of you who haven’t heard of me, I’m the man who’s known as the COPD athlete. As you can imagine, this title means I’m a strong advocate for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients getting out and exercising,...read more
Hello, all. It’s Russell Winwood here, and today, I want to talk about how important exercise is for COPD patients. As a person who lives with COPD myself, I know that getting the exercise you need may not seem easy. However, there are certain types of daily exercises...read more
Your diet is important if you have COPD. The Lung Health Institute advisory board member Russell Winwood reveals five foods to add to your COPD diet.read more
The Lung Health Institute advocate Russell Winwood reveals three resolutions that may improve lung health for patients with COPD in the new year.read more
Hello friends, and happy holidays! It’s Russell Winwood here with another helpful holiday season post. For many people, the phrase “holiday cheer” is synonymous with some form of alcoholic beverage. From eggnog to mulled wine, the holiday season is brimming over with...read more
Happy holidays everyone! This is Russell Winwood, and I’m a fellow COPD patient. COPD is a disease that can sometimes send you to the hospital, and this means that you may find yourself in the hospital over the holidays. Today, I’d like to offer you two tips you can...read more
Oh! Hi there. I’m Russell Winwood, and I’m someone who lives with COPD, but I’ve been able to complete marathons and the Ironman competition all the same. For this reason, some people refer to me as the COPD athlete. During the holidays especially, I like to give...read more
Happy holidays everyone! It's Russell Winwood, and I’m here to talk to you about handling holiday stress if you have COPD. The holiday season is a happy time of year for most people, but it can also be very stressful, especially for people who are living with COPD. To...read more
Hi folks. My name’s Russell Winwood, and I’m both an athlete and a person who lives with COPD every day. Many people refer to me as the COPD athlete because I’ve run marathons and finished an Ironman competition since my COPD diagnosis. As you can imagine, I’m a huge...read more
Wellness Plan Advocate, COPD Athlete
I started smoking socially in my late teens, despite being diagnosed with asthma when I was young. Even though I knew it was bad for me, I continued the habit until I was in my late 30’s. On Christmas Day 2002, I collapsed from a stroke. After too many years of not looking after myself, I realized it was time to change my habits. I gave up the cigarettes, cut down on alcohol and started exercising and eating better.
For eight years, I competed in triathlons of varying distances. Then, in 2011, I noticed that my training times were getting slower. It was harder to exercise, and I was constantly short of breath. Spirometry and lung function tests confirmed I had chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), with a FEV1 of less than 30 percent of normal. They told me I might need a double lung transplant within five years.
Being diagnosed with COPD was hard. I had worked so hard to rebuild my health after my stroke — but I knew how important it was to stay healthy. That’s why I’m so impressed with the Lung Health Institute’s Wellness Treatment Plan and its emphasis on eating the right foods to reduce inflammation. Cutting down on carbs and embracing a diet of healthy fats has really improved the way I feel and breath.
Another thing I’ve learned in life is the benefits of exercise. After my diagnosis, I gradually became more active. Short, slow walks turned into longer, faster walks. The more I exercised, the fitter I became. The fitter I became, the less breathless I felt. Don’t get me wrong — I wasn’t going to trouble Usain Bolt over a 100-meter sprint. But as I became stronger, I went back to swimming and cycling. And before long, I started having thoughts of training for a triathlon.
I know many people will read this and think, “No way!” But it’s true. Completing the Ironman race was a significant point in my journey with COPD, as it taught me a lot about myself and just what is possible when you put your mind to it. The Lung Health Institute’s Wellness Treatment Plan has a lot of wisdom that I’ve found true in my own life with COPD. Fasting, for example, makes a huge difference in my day-to-day life, when I’m in a fasted state, my ketones are high, and I’m less breathless.
I hope that sharing my experiences will help others with a respiratory disease become excited about the journey that you are about to embark and how changing your daily eating habits can impact your daily breath. It’s not about competing in races, it’s about eating smarter and becoming more active so you can achieve a better quality of life. As you enter into the Lung Health Institute Wellness Plan, I have faith that you, too, can do great things. Whatever your personal Ironman is, I wish you the best of luck.