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  Let's Get Fit - Testimonials

  • Below are real experiences from Let's Get Fit members.

    We hope you will be encouraged by their success, and ready to start your own exercise plan.

    Click here to have your own Testimonial added.

      Orville Nichols
    When I tell people my age, eighty-eight years, the reaction frequently is, "You don't look it." Then when I add that I have emphysema, they usually say, "You don't seem short of breath." I guess my appearance could be put down to my genes, but when it comes to the emphysema I assure them that I really do have a serious problem being short of breath. I also add that I have learned to live, and I mean that literally, with the malady because of two happenings in my life. The first happening was being referred to a pulmonary rehab class, where I learned pursed-lip breathing, the value of using my diaphragm to breathe, and the importance of getting plenty of exercise. The second happening was joining a group called "Let's Get Fit," this being a group of like sufferers who support each other, reminding each of us of the importance of exercising. We do that through an atmosphere of understanding and just plain friendship, reporting to each other frequently. I really do owe a lot to our Let's Get Fit team!
      Sharon Anderson
    I have never really liked formal exercise. I always considered myself active but not prone to join a fitness group. When I went to my pulmonologist, he told me I needed pulmonary rehab and followed that with: none are available. After a few questions to the website copd-support.com, I joined LGF. I was on my way. I have increased my stamina and endurance even though I didn't have pulmonary rehab available. Thank you LGF and keep up the good work.
      Doris Braendel
    At the time that I was diagnosed with emphysema in 2001, I had to lie down for ten minutes after walking downstairs in the morning. I saved my laundry for my grandchildren's visits and planned my day around the fewest number of trips upstairs. I joined Let's Get Fit shortly thereafter, and now I go up and down all day, do my own laundry, including hanging clothes on the line, and even manage to climb subway stairs when necessary.
      Connie Clayton
    I believe exercise has helped me get through two operations and as a result I was able to recover more rapidly. I have to use my shoulder muscles to lift myself because of having stomach operations. If I didn't have that muscle I would require physical assistance. Now I just lift my weight up and get up. Exercise increased my lung capacity and gives me more stamina to breathe a little easier and clear carbon dioxide from my lungs. Mentally, exercise has given me a better outlook and keeps depression at a minimum 'cause it is hard to be down when you are huffing and puffing and sweating it out. I have been able to help around the house more and carry heavier things due to the strength-building exercises. Exercise lets me see the ocean where I walk and hear the birds outside and gives me the peace of mind that I am doing something for my health and well being.
      Marsha "Lonedove" Hearn
    When I first joined LGF two years ago, I could barely do three minutes of exercise. I had just been diagnosed with COPD and was in turmoil trying to figure out how to live with this illness. I couldn't walk from living room to bathroom without being totally out of breath and shaking. LGF has been the best thing for me, physically and emotionally. I am a much happier person these days--happier with what I can do physically and more satisfied that I can do something to improve the quality of my days while learning to live with COPD. Now I can do thirty to forty-five minutes of exercise almost every morning, and even though I'm tired afterwards, I am not as SOB as I used to be and I feel better about myself.
      Sue Henderson
    I have tried to exercise several times and due to sickness have had to stop. I did make it from barely walking to the bathroom to walking 130 feet twice a day. This is still new to me. But I've been outside swinging with my daughter for the first time in three years.
      Donna Hizer
    I have been in the LGF group for about two years now and I want to tell you, it has made all of the difference. I had to smile when I saw the suggestion, "I could barely walk from my bedroom to the kitchen." In my case it was a fact, and a frightening one at that. I stayed in bed or in a chair most of the time and was barely able to take out the trash. To get a shower each day was a breathtaking chore. To do what I had to do in the house was extremely difficult. I'm happy to say that thanks to LGF, our team, and most especially our captain, Virginia, all that has changed. I exercise every day and try to put new things into my routine from time to time. My life has turned around and I'm able to do pretty much as I please around the house, including painting, rug scrubbing, and such. This would have been unthinkable two short years ago. I can join friends for shopping, lunch, and movies. All this is directly due to the insertion of exercise into my life.
      Izzy Kuehl
    When Camille started this Let's Get Fit Program, I was coming off a terrible winter of infections. I have a home health care agency that helps me daily with things. They encouraged me to sign up when the e-mail came through. So I did, and I tell you it is a program of getting started with a team that will help motivate you to keep you going. I can remember struggling to go to the bathroom. I can remember emailing them and saying, Hey, I just opened up a can of whatever or opened a jar of something. I can remember days when one of them would call me as I was flat on my back in bed and couldn't remember taking my meds. Yes, I'm glad to say those days are gone. I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for this group and my home health care agency pushing me forward and saying, Yes, Izzy, you can do it! I even help with collecting the rent now, and live a jack-in-the-box style when the first of the month comes, as we happen to be apartment managers. I have Camille to say "Thank you" to for a lot of good things that have come into my life! Keep exercising and moving forward! It works!
      Bruce Lambert
    When I was first diagnosed with COPD, I became depressed, angry with myself for smoking, and nervous about the progression of this disease. I didn't have the energy or ability (because of SOB) to do most things that I had done most of my adult life. The chores around the house, the garden, and the fish pond and my home improvement projects were often too difficult to do. I worked as a teacher in an alternative/special education high school in New York City. It was a loving but often a violent environment that demanded a lot of physical energy every day. It was my doctors' recommendation that I retire. I knew they were right--but I was only fifty-five years old. I stumbled across copd-support.com and started reading the messages on the forum and dropped into the chatroom daily. My doctors had told me that exercise was a key component in my therapy/recovery; I also knew that myself. For all of my life I had hated organized or routine exercise. I had always felt my active lifestyle was enough. My problem now was that my former lifestyle was dramatically changed. Everything I read on our site and other sites on the internet stressed the importance of daily exercise. I joined Let's Get Fit. I was placed on a team, but after a few months I began feeling better and decided I didn't need the group any longer. After approximately a year I noticed a change. I wasn't exercising as much, I often became SOB, and my energy level had decreased. JoAnn, my wife, said she thought I was clinically depressed. I contacted Camille and asked to rejoin the group. She placed me with Athletes-R-Us and within a few months I'm exercising more than ever. When I went to the pulmonary specialist a month ago, I found that my stats hadn't declined. In fact they had improved slightly. The everyday contact with people struggling like me to have a normal lifestyle is the greatest support tool I've found. Each morning I look forward to opening my e-mail upon returning from the gym. The words of wisdom and encouragement from others serve as a catalyst to never lose faith in myself.
      Mary Margolis
    I was diagnosed with COPD at age thirty-three. As required, every year my physician had PFTs (pulmonary function tests) done to track the disease's progress. The first couple of times, the disease was moving right along. I got to the point I was afraid to have another test done. I just didn't want to know how bad it really was getting. My physician and I talked about my physical conditioning. It was determined I would start a rehab program, working on getting consistent exercise. Since I live in a small town, pulmonary rehab was not available, so I did a special version of cardiac rehab while working one on one with a physical therapist. It didn't take me long to graduate, maybe because of my age or determination: I had been pretty active before getting sick. Once I graduated, I felt at a loss. I still desperately needed daily contact and support, but could not afford to go to cardiac rehab any longer. One day, while looking through e-mails on the COPD Support site, I read about Let's Get Fit. I signed up right away. It was wonderful. Every day I would get e-mails from my team members, encouraging me and helping me remain accountable. It helped me to keep me exercising. Last year, I nervously went to my scheduled PFT appointment. I was sure it would be worse again. Much to my delight (and my doctor's), my numbers were the same in most categories, and in one grouping I actually showed some improvement. My doctor believes my continued exercising has been a boon for my health. Exercising has allowed me to maintain what lung function I have left. It has not and will not cure me, but it has helped me to maintain what lung function I have left. I said it twice because it is that important.
      Ginger Marzan
    When I was first diagnosed with emphysema I was so short of breath that it took me three days to just clean the small bathroom in our house. Bending over to tie my shoes was next to impossible. I was so scared about having this disease that I decided to go on the internet and learn as much as I could about it. This is how I discovered the COPD Support Group and the Let's Get Fit program. I bought a treadmill and began to use it on a daily basis. It's been approximately two and a half years ago that I joined, and with the daily encouragement from the group and the regular exercise I can truly say it has helped with the severe shortness of breath that I had. I am now able to do some things that I was not able to do before. This program has really been a lifesaver to me.
      Marie McGrath
    One of the things I'm most thankful for on this site is the companionship and understanding from all the members. We are all in the same boat and support each other no matter what we are able to do. Some of us are very ill, but we still get that pat on the back to keep trying. Before Let's Get Fit I sat and didn't move unless I had to. Now I'm doing an average of thirty minutes a day on the treadmill.
      Svend Pederson
    I can't exactly say when I joined LGF--it must be about three years ago--and LGF has been a lifesaver to me more than once. I am seventy years old and on oxygen 24/7. During the winter months, living in Canada, it has been impossible for me to venture outside, sometimes for a month at the time, and being hooked up to a concentrator by a fifty-foot hose night and day is not my idea of having fun. If it had not been for all the great people connected with LGF, and in particular the Team Ice that I belong to, I am sure I would have gone into a deep depression a long time ago. But with each member of the team writing to me, I can't wait to get to my computer every day to check it for mail from the team. That is the one thing that gives me the strength to keep on going.
      Bruce Petro
    Exercise helps me in several ways. It helps me breathe better. I think I am also able to do more things, like helping Mom clean house, and also getting clean myself and getting out. I like going out and walking so I can talk to my friends in the store. I have made some friends since I have had COPD and they miss me when I'm not there.
      Shari Schibilla
    I've been a member of Team Lightning for about six months and am more than pleased with the entire concept. I'm a firm believer in exercise, but had become a five-star procrastinator when on my own. Team Lightning changed that for me, and although my improvement hasn't been as impressive as many, I have gone from walking at less than one mile per hour for fifteen miserable minutes to walking at better than two miles per hour for thirty minutes. Best of all, we cheer each other on, and sympathize when some of us can't handle exercise on some days. Enthusiasm, understanding, and acceptance have made Team Lightning a wonderful asset in my life!
      Malcolm Worsley
    I joined LGF in April 2003. I had had COPD for about eight years but ignored it and battled on. I blamed the airports and other terminals for increasing the distance between getting off and getting out. I was not aware that I was losing energy and lung capacity at an alarming rate. In the end my weight had increased to 13 stone 8 lbs, and I struggled to walk 200 yards. I retired, joined LGF, and took a long hard look at my fitness. I had to wait six months for a rehab in the UK, but my groups DOS and later Force helped me develop an exercise programme that suited me. I started with nine simple stretches, three breathing exercises, and step-ups on the bottom tread of my stairs. I then started walking slowly and began a course of medication. One year on I can, at my own pace, walk up to five miles on the flat and enjoy the beauty of the English countryside. I belong to a very supportive group and enjoy a reasonably healthy lifestyle - well, the odd glass of wine and a rich creamy St. Augar cheese with crackers is essential to a balanced lifestyle! Thanks Camille, Virginia, Nancy, Shirlee, and all those in the Force team.
      Elaine Pierce
    I was diagnosed with emphysema in 1995 at which time I quit smoking after 42 years of heavy smoking. I live in Marysville, WA which is 30+ miles north of Seattle. I got my education from COPD-Support on the web and learned about LGF from the site. My job was very physical and I needed something to keep me going when I retired in 1998. I have 1 son and a wonderful daughter in law. My room mate is my 9 yr old shih tzu who goes everywhere with me.