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Question
Posted by: Lung Capacity | 2010/11/19

Lung capacity

Hi there, I hope this is the correct way to go about this. Apologies if it is not. I just want to know what is the best exercise to improve lung capacity and fitness.

I can walk incline 15 and speed 4 on a treadmill for 15 to 20 minutes - and I am out of breath but can still control my breathing. However, when I hike, I really struggle on the inclines - as in loose my breath completely.

Should I just keep my incline 15 and walk faster, then when I loose my breath lower the incline till I recover? I am a chronic asthmatic and severly overweight (however, I am on a diet and am loosing quite significant amounts of weight). And, sadly, I smoke. Thank you for your help.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageFitnessDoc

Hi there

Well, there are no short cuts - it takes years to really see the changes you might be after. The answer is cardio training, and you're doing that already. What I think you need to do is increase the speed and drop the incline, even if it's just once every couple of days. At the moment, you're really walking a steep grade at low pace, and that's often more limiting because of leg pain.

You can't fight through that feeling at the end. It's just not possible to over-ride, so I would suggest you rather break the session down. All it is (and I don't mean to be flippant) is that you need to devote time to improving your fitness.

You don't always, for example, need to exercise to fatigue. You can drop the incline to say 5, and walk at speed of 6 and do 25 minutes, 30 minutes. Other days, you can have a gradient of 4 and a speed of say 12, and do that for 5 minutes, then a couple of minutes of speed 5, then back up to 12, and so on. Do that for 30 minutes, and you'll be developing fitness.

At the moment, it seems that you're forcing the session and you don't need to train to that point.

Good luck

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: fitnessdoc | 2010/11/26

Hi there

Well, there are no short cuts - it takes years to really see the changes you might be after. The answer is cardio training, and you're doing that already. What I think you need to do is increase the speed and drop the incline, even if it's just once every couple of days. At the moment, you're really walking a steep grade at low pace, and that's often more limiting because of leg pain.

You can't fight through that feeling at the end. It's just not possible to over-ride, so I would suggest you rather break the session down. All it is (and I don't mean to be flippant) is that you need to devote time to improving your fitness.

You don't always, for example, need to exercise to fatigue. You can drop the incline to say 5, and walk at speed of 6 and do 25 minutes, 30 minutes. Other days, you can have a gradient of 4 and a speed of say 12, and do that for 5 minutes, then a couple of minutes of speed 5, then back up to 12, and so on. Do that for 30 minutes, and you'll be developing fitness.

At the moment, it seems that you're forcing the session and you don't need to train to that point.

Good luck

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