People have asked me, “How will I know if I am overdoing it?” If I am doing this exercise routine on my own, and you’ve never even seen me? The answer is simple, but a bit involved. When you join the full program, you will learn about a breathlessness scale, and an exertion scale. Essentially, after a few weeks of rating yourself on this scale, you will get the hang of what is a good pace for you and what is too much. Other factors, such as your oxygen saturation and heart rate, blend with the RPE and PMF scales to determine the best exercise type and pace for you. Finally, what I call the pooped factor: how you feel after exercise, and how you feel the next day. If you are not able to join the full program just yet, here are some guidelines:
- Keep your oxygen saturation above 91%.
- Keep your heart rate below 110.
- If you can’t talk whilst exercising, you are going too fast.
- If you have to take a nap after exercising, you did too much.
- If you are too sore the next day to walk or shower, you did too much.
What this means is, do your best to monitor your heart rate and saturation while you exercise. If your saturation dips to 90%, slow down. If it dips to 88%, stop and rest. If your heart rate rises quickly, slow down when you get to 110. If you are on blood pressure or heart medications that keep your heart rate low no matter what you do, just use your breathlessness scale. If you can’t carry on a conversation, go slower. If going on a grocery shopping trip leaves you in a heap on the sofa when you get back, make sure you are not rushing through the store to get it done. Go slow, take rest breaks, and take your time putting it all away when you get home.
Keep moving, practice good breathing techniques, and it will eventually get easier. Give yourself a gold star for doing as much as you do for yourself~ !