Lessons in lung health for Pulmonary Rehab Week

Lots of exercise is key to Bob Davis' lung rehabilitation program.
Lots of exercise is key to Bob Davis' lung rehabilitation program.

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - Bob Davis is a reformed smoker. About four years ago, he gave up cigarettes and cigars.

"Just long years of abuse. Cigarettes, cigars... both at the same time," he laughed. But after prolonged coughing fits, it became no joking matter. "I ended up in the emergency room. And that's when Dr. Corley started sending me over here for therapy."

He stopped smoking, started exercising and life changed. He said he sleeps better and has alleviated attacks of acid reflux. "The medication that I take eases any problems I have at night," Davis said.

Both doctors and patients say it's not just the period of time while they're being treated, but after the treatment is over, maintenance is also extremely important.  That maintenance is achieved through hard exercise, working out those lungs.

"If you don't use it, you lose it," said Dr. Luther Corley.  He is a pulmonologist - a lung specialist who said that maintenance is to improve the life of the patient.

"We educate the patient about their disease and about what kind of problems it causes: the limitations it has, and more importantly, we educate them on how they can deal with it better," added Corley.

For Davis, that means exercise and a lot of it.

Dr. Corley said it's all about delivery of oxygen. "What we try to do is to reduce your body's demand for oxygen. In other words, we try to make it where your lungs don't have to work as hard to deliver the needed amount of oxygen to the muscles."

Bob Davis says he can do things he has not been able to in a long time. "I can get out in the yard. I can ride my mowers.... now I can, you know, do more outside."

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