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Old 11-13-2010, 05:18 AM   #1
Austin Bray
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pulse oximeter

Hey all.

I've been working out irregularly(and eating poorly) for the past few years and as such I've put on about 20 lbs of fat and my asthma has gotten horrendous.

I'm trying to get back to where I was 2 years ago but I can't maintain exercise for longer than 2 minutes without my asthma shutting me down for days(did a scaled Nancy yesterday morning and I still don't feel right).


I'm thinking about getting an oximeter to help me manage my workouts. Right know I don't really have any good cue as to when I need to slow down, back off and before I know it I've pushed myself too far and it takes hours for my lungs to return to normal.

Does this sound like a good idea? Can anybody tell me at what oxygenation level I should slow down?
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Old 11-13-2010, 09:15 AM   #2
Steven Low
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Re: pulse oximeter

What's your diet like? Diet may be aggravating your asthma (or causing it in some cases).

I would strongly suggest you work on strength lifts until you can figure out asthma. Strength work in general is better for dropping fat off anyway, combined properly with diet.

You're likely also not goign to be getting a good workout anyway even with the pulse oximeter which is why strength is much better for you.
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Old 11-14-2010, 11:18 AM   #3
Austin Bray
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Re: pulse oximeter

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Low View Post
What's your diet like? Diet may be aggravating your asthma (or causing it in some cases).

I would strongly suggest you work on strength lifts until you can figure out asthma. Strength work in general is better for dropping fat off anyway, combined properly with diet.

You're likely also not goign to be getting a good workout anyway even with the pulse oximeter which is why strength is much better for you.
Thanks Steve.

Last night I played around with running, I would run for 60 seconds and then rest(and by rest I mean "sat my *** down" ) until I felt 100% (took about 2 minutes).

went for a whole mile doing that, and the impact on my asthma wasn't too terrible, still left me wheezy for about an hour.

As far as strength work goes, I go crazy if I don't do heavy squats, presses, deadlifts at least once a week.

Diet is all over the place these days but I've bee trying to reign it in (meats and veggies, no sugar)

Honestly I know the solution to my problem and I just hate it, namely "No F-ing simple carbs"

Last edited by Austin Bray; 11-14-2010 at 11:22 AM..
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Old 11-15-2010, 10:59 AM   #4
Jared Ashley
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Re: pulse oximeter

I'm not sure I'd trust a pulse-ox to give you a useful reading mid-workout to be honest.

For one thing, there's a significant delay between the onset of shortness of breath and a change in your pulse-ox. I work healthcare and have played with them a bit... I'm normally ~96-98% but if I hold my breath it will jump to 100% after 10-15 seconds and stay there for about a minute. Only after over a minute of holding my breath will it drop below 100, and most of the time I dont' have the willpower to get it to drop below 90 (usually takes over 90 seconds to do that).

Bottom line is that the pulse-ox may not give you advance warning of an impending asthma attack, but rather only confirm to you that you're not getting enough O2 after you've been trying to suck air through a straw for the last couple of minutes... I think by that point you'd already know you're having a problem!

I'd also question accuracy. People with poor circulation, cold fingers, or dark skin will often read low or not read at all. it is logical (although not necessarily correct) that someone flush with blood mid-workout may read high. Problem is you'd have no way to verify either way.

I wish you well in finding a way to manage your asthma. But I wouldn't waste your money on a pulse-ox. I think you're going to have to manage this with the old "listen to your body" mantra as well as possibly medical management with your physician.
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Old 11-15-2010, 01:42 PM   #5
Steven Low
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Re: pulse oximeter

Eliminate all potential allergens. Wheat, dairy, etc.
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Old 12-02-2010, 11:23 AM   #6
George Rudd
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Re: pulse oximeter

how's your asthma control? are you on a puffer? which puffer/s, how often do you use it/them?

perhaps its time to change your asthma medication regimen
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Old 12-05-2010, 05:35 AM   #7
Tish Traster
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Re: pulse oximeter

Hello Austin,

I have suffered from chronic and EIA (Exercise Induced Asthma) my entire life. It's frustrating as heck, because we are always wondering...'Is it asthma, or am I just a wimp?' I look around my box, and heck ...everyone is huffing and puffing and panting! However, not in the same way I am.

The first step in reducing your frustration is accepting the fact that you are an asthmatic CrossFitter Yes, I didn't like the term, but it's true and that makes us different. I wouldn't expect a CrossFitter with one leg to be able to perform the same as a CrossFitter with two legs.....having asthma is no different.


It's difficult, because our disablility is invisible. People can't see it and therefore we worry, at least I did.....that people thought I was just 'wussing out.' Heck, I even refused to use a rescue inhaler because I felt like I was cheating. Doh! That's all changed now, I've accepted my condition and made peace with it .

My experience with CrossFit and asthma has been a learning experience. I have found two factors that greatly influence and determine whether I go full blown or not.

1. Diet - as Steven up there says, has been THE MOST INFLUENTIAL factor. When I am lactose, gluten and sugar free....I experience fewer episodes, perform better and faster.

2. Pacing - this is crucial to the asthmatic. You must pace your WODs....learn to listen to your body and become familiar with the intensity that will trigger a full blown attack.

Diet is paramount and pacing is learned by listening to your body and pulling back before a full blown attack. Using these two factors, my run and WOD times have greatly decreased.

And I agree with Jared up there....no on the pulse ox....like a heart rate monitor...I know when I'm at 160 or above and I know when I can't breathe. It's just numbers
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Last edited by Tish Traster; 12-05-2010 at 05:38 AM..
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