So I have been meaning to write about this for a while now. Ever since I started at the adult CF clinic about 2 years ago, they told me part of their routine was meeting with a PT once a year. They didn't want to bombard me at first with all of their policies if it wasn't necessary and if I didn't have days off. But I finally went to meet with the PT (he specializes in CF care) at the hospital where my clinic is back in February or March I want to say. Long story short, I didn't realize how weak some of my muscle groups are. Shoulders and hips for one. At that point I hadn't been to the gym in a few years and rarely did any walking. When I had my old job…I at least walked around the store and NEVER sat down. Moved things around the store, so at least that was some form of exercise. My job now, I pretty much sit down all day. So I am going to just outline what these visits with the PT have entailed one by one. Because since that initial visit, I have been back to see him twice more. Insurance pays for it, so why not. And with my new gym membership, I really would like to have more exercises to do in my arsenal while I'm at the gym.
Visit one: I can't remember if I blogged about this or not, so I will just briefly go over what we did to the best of my memory. We talked for a while about how much I exercise, how healthy I am CF-wise, and my daily routine of CF care. He did some strength tests…you know the kind where you push against his arm and you have to keep it stable. Or raising my arms above my head. Different stuff. I then did a treadmill walking/jogging test. In addition to having weak shoulders and hips, we realized I have pretty low exercise tolerance despite having high (for a CFer) lung function. Its a good thing that my lung function is so high…we can work with that. From what he said, its easier to increase exercise tolerance with higher lung function than it is with lower function. I hope thats coming out the right way. So we left that meeting with an agreement to go to the gym more often.
Visit two: At the first visit, my PT said to email him with any questions and if I felt like it, I could email him monthly on my progress. So after a week or two at the gym, I emailed him. I told him I'd met with a trainer at the gym and went over some exercises to do, but that I wasn't too happy with what he had shown me. The gym trainer was not all that knowledgable and only showed me the bare minimum. So the PT emailed back and said basically that I needed a more comprehensive program to strengthen ALL my weakened areas. So he offered to have me come in and he'd show me different things. He broke it down into sections, upper, lower and core. We did three different exercises for each area, two reps of each. It was about a 45 minute workout. And while I was doing it, I could definitely feel my lung junk loosening up! My cough was more juicy and I was able to move stuff around! I was instructed to go to the gym 2-3 non-consecutive days per week…do 15 minutes of cardio to warm up, then go through that routine we had done at clinic. I won't go into all the exercises because they were tailored towards what I need. Another CFer may need something different.
Visit three: We did pretty much the same thing as visit two. Although he added a walk test. I walked up and down the hall for 6 minutes and he measured how far I walked. I think I failed this part pretty bad! LOL. And it was not for any specific health reason…I could have gone faster/further but its really awkward walking up and down the length of a hospital hallway. *shame* So after the walk test…he showed me another set of upper, lower and core exercises. So now I have 6 upper exercises to choose from, 6 lower, and 6 core. I am instructed to choose one from each area, do the exercise, repeat once…then choose another set, repeat, then another and repeat. So all in all, on one day at the gym…I'll do my 15 minutes of cardio, then I'll do three upper exercises, three lower and three core.
I'd highly recommend this to any CFer who is looking to increase exercise ability. My PT knows what he's talking about, is knowledgable and experienced and he loves what he does! He's so easy to talk to and I really hope that I can start to see results soon like some of his other patients.