Photo by EcoBound MTB Events
How breathing training can improve your lung function after respiratory illness
This personal case study was provided to us proactively by Mike Agathagelou, a pharmacist and Airofit user based in South Africa.
Mike wanted to share his story so people could learn about his personal quest to recover from several respiratory illnesses, including Covid-19, and get back to his passion of long-distance cycling.
We share stories like this to remind everyone that although Airofit to date has been known primarily in the world of athletics, more and more we are receiving incredible feedback from people with health issues that are gaining from training and strengthening their respiratory muscles.
Name: Mike Agathagelou
Diagnosis: COPD & COVID-19
As a pharmacist, Mike has a unique perspective and thorough knowledge of how people can and do struggle, even with medication, when it comes to overcoming health issues and diseases that have a propensity to weaken the immune system and create respiratory muscular atrophy.
As a pharmacist, Mike has seen too many patients and clients write Covid-19 off as a less serious infection. Unfortunately, at his workplace, he was one of 5 staff members that were infected with Covid-19 and he was the only one that had serious health issues as a result.
Mike was determined to find a way to recover and get back to his athletic lifestyle. Aside from Covid-19, Mike also had another respiratory problems - he was diagnosed with COPD in his younger days.
As Airofit PROTM carries various training programs, and as many other users, Mike was able to build his own training plan according to his needs and goals.In the beginning of his training with Airofit PROTM, he claimed to have struggled. His lungs were in a weakened state and he would really struggle.
He remembers his very first lung function test very well. According to him, it felt like his lungs would implode. He experienced a fair amount of pain and had severe coughing spasms. After every session, Mike’s lungs were tired and would feel as he described “bruised” for a day or two, but he persisted.
Mike would use Airofit PROTM for a day or two, but then take a break day before he would engage in his exercise routines. Mike does ultra-distance cycling, but his recovery started by simply walking in his garden, then on a treadmill, and eventually cycling short distances, during which he would stop every few minutes to check his oxygen level - at times it would drop as low as 88%.
His recovery started to improve rapidly when he started with Airofit PROTM even though it was difficult work on its “beginner” setting.
He believes by starting slowly but doing it regularly, he was able to make consistent improvements. Each day, he uses the following program modules “Hyper Strength”, “Inhale Strength”, and “Exhale Strength”multiple times on the “beginner” setting, for 1 minute per session.
The graph below shows which Airofit PROTM training sessions he has been doing and the number of minutes he has spent on it.
At Airofit, we focus on measuring the person's accessible lung capacity on a given day.
Our test measures the volume of air that one’s lungs can inhale/exhale in one breath. It is recommended to take the lung tests at the same time of day and before any main meals. What is important here is to be consistent with the way the lung tests are performed.
The results above displayed Mike's vital lung capacity progression over the past 11 weeks. In the beginning, Mike had on average 2.65 liters of accessible vital capacity and today he has increased that to 4.05 liters in just 11 weeks of 1-minute, consistent breathing training.
Mike has managed to increase his accessible vital lung capacity by 52%!
There are numerous studies showing that inspiratory muscles training is beneficial for patients suffering from COPD. Weakened inspiratory muscle strength is a common finding in those patients and this is also Mike's case.
The graph below shows Mike's progression in his inspiratory muscle strength:
Over 11 weeks time, Mike was able to increase his inspiratory strength from just below 40 cmH20 to 164 cmH20. Considering the amount of time Mike has spent on training, the improvements are simply outstanding!
After training with Airofit PRO™, Mike has managed to make great improvements in his lung function in just 11 weeks. He increased his accessible vital capacity and inspiratory strength to twice the amount of when he first started.
“I used to suffer for the first 10KM or 30min of my rides till my lungs were warmed up. After my training with Airofit I don't have that anymore and get into my stride much quicker...
My last lung function test at a specialist physician was repeated 3 times. He treated me for the respiratory illness in hospital and spoke about the damage to my lungs, he could not believe that I had actually improved my test compared to pre-Covid illness!”
The progress shown in Mike’s charts speak volumes and is an example of how just one of thousands of Airofit users through consistent training over a long period of time have gained tremendous personal benefit and relief from the struggle of reported health issues.