for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients like me, and one reason is because there are 3 fall harvest foods that have many….read more
The cooler temperatures of fall can make it harder for COPD patients to exercise outside. Russell Winwood reveals 3 indoor exercises patients can do inside.read more
Seafood can be better for your lungs than you might think. Russell Winwood describes 3 benefits COPD patients can get from eating seafood.read more
Smoothies can have a number of benefits for patients with COPD. Russell Winwood reveals 3 of these benefits.read more
Going to the beach is a warm-weather pastime. Find out about 3 COPD-friendly beach activities from the COPD athlete, Russell Winwood.read more
Summertime is when COPD patients need to take extra care of themselves. Find out 3 ways to manage COPD in hot weather from Russell Winwood.read more
Summertime is here and many people are flocking to the pool. Find out how swimming can benefit chronic lung disease patients.read more
There are many dads out there who have COPD. Russell Winwood talks about tips for spending time with your dad on Father’s Day if he has COPD.read more
There are a variety of activities chronic lung disease patients can enjoy. Find out some of the ways cycling can benefit your lungs.read more
Oxygen is vital for many body functions, including thinking and moving. The foods that make up your diet can affect your body’s oxygen levels.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.