Swimming as exercise


New member
I would like to know if any of you with COPD have taken up swimming as a sport. Since most COPD patients gasp just being in the shower, I was wondering whether swimming would be a good idea for us. My doctor said it would be good exercise, but he's not somebody whose word I trust. he also said there is no hope for COPD except to stick to the usual inhalers and meds. Last time I "swam" was about 3 years ago, and I don't think it went well. Any suggestions?


Pioneer Founding member
I had several people in my pulmonary rehab class that swam. One man had devised an inner tube that he strapped his portable oxygen tank on so that it could be taken in the water with him. Swimming is good exercise if you can do it.


New member
I don't have COPD , but My pulmonary hypertension is because of pulmonary vasculitis (the doctors are not 100% sure, but is sure that my secondary PH is because of my lung was infected first) .

So, I was a professional swimmer , and in 2005 i was even in euro championship for students.
So, in the first year of my pulmonary condition (PH and lung embolism) i was only in hospitals or at home by O2 24/7 and my max was 200 meters walk, so swimming was not possible. (that was in 2008)

This summer I was much better , so I was able to swim (my doctor advice me) - so I made 50 m swimming , and was very good feeling , when the pool is outside and the temp is more than 84 F and sunny.

So, i think if you have pool close to you and is not so cold outside, (even if the pool is inside, is bad when you drive home by cold weather) , swim 25 or 50 meters - slow if you want and breve in tact .
I personally was able this summer to swim even butterfly style for 20 meters, but that was on beach (sea level) and after 2 months there at hot weather, now in the big city again i feel not so good ,because of so much smoke and so many cars and traffic .... ( 3 million city (puke) )

Hope that you are in some warm place with fresh air and than the swimming will be very good for you.


Pioneer Founding member
I agree. If a person is able to swim, it is a great way to get some exercise. I can't see me ever progressing to the point of being able to swim the butterfly, but maybe someday I can at least do a simple crawl. I used to love swimming. My mom who was in physical therapy recently for a fractured sacrum had only one good day at the nursing home she had to be in for the PT and that was the day they took her to do water therapy.


New member
Hey Barbara ,

Well I wasn't able to make stairs more than 2 floor and that with 4 or 5 stops for rest , but for me the water is like ...I don't know it's was always easy ,now is not so, but for 25 meters it's still not so hard as the stairs or walk.

And that was very amazing effect of better feeling after 2 months at sea and fresh air - when i came the first time there at the apartment (End of June) I was on O2 and 100 meters was my max, but after 2 months (end of august) I was able to swim 20 meters butterfly, to walk 500 to 700 meters and even to play slowly volleyball for 10 minutes :) Was amazing really what the sea level and air has done with me. And I normally lived at the Swiss border ,but now I was at Black Sea at my birth country Bulgaria and there come many tourists exactly because of the specific air at black sea.... (sadly only from June to the end of September is hot and sunny).
Now I want to try Florida for 6-7 months - there is warm in winter too , and my stem cells procedure by Dr. Grekos is in the middle of November, so will be great i hope :)

Barbara, for me the main problem is the lung too - I met people with PH, who can walk and have pressure 90 , some who don't have low O2 sat , so my problem is very close to COPD , only that my lung function (volume) by the test in the cabin is almost OK, maby because I was swimmer, but my PO2 is 59% , my O2 Sat is 92% without O2, and last year when I was only in hospitals, the thing were .... 43% and 65% O2 Sat - so I know very well what is your condition about breve ,my is better too, but still this lung problems and only with car, because I can't walk.
So, If you try some vacation on warm place with sea air and to be close to the sea where you sleep - you should let the window open 24/7 and than your lungs are deferent, I was so much better those 2 months ....
Now I am again on O2 and spend most of my time in bed, but I hope that will be deferent in a few months , i prey for this to be much more deferent :)


Pioneer Founding member

I have been told by pulmonary doctors that the Gulf of Mexico is the best place for people with lung problems. I went to New Orleans a few weeks before Katrina and even though it was 100 degrees fahrenheit I was able to walk through the French Quarter without being short of breath.

I would love to go back to the Gulf to live if I could sell my house.


New member

I think that should do the stem cells - to make you much better by any weather , isn't so?
I live in a city, where in winter is -5 to -10 , so I hope that after the treatment the winter will be no longer such problem for me. I loved skiing before (maby 3 years past from my last ski vacation) , so I know, that ski is not an option ,but I can't sell my apartment - I just finished it by my taste with so many hight tech things and light effects , was so difficult (it took 3 years) ... :(
So, I see you had stem cells procedure in 2007 - so, you must have almost no problems in winter, or ...?
Yeah , summer and sea and salty watter and air is great for the lung. But we can't go all to such places , we work, live or have friends in the big cites ( or many of us i think) .
Can you tell me how do you feel now - 2,5 years after the stem cells procedure?


New member
Thanks Jeannine

Hope you get fully recovered after 6 months as your doc says , for me is the hope too, that I'm young (which till now is not a factor and even I was worst than 90% of other cases I know) will help me in future to recover.
My O2 sat 92-93% without O2 is not a problem for me anymore (at least I don't fell so much deference) , so I hope by 96% as you said after your treatment - will be much better.

Greetings you all - try to swim and relax more after your procedures , I'll write about mine soon , hope will be a success :)