Julie says: First check with your GP to make sure your breathlessness isn’t due to a medical problem. If you’re given the all-clear and it’s just due to lack of fitness, there’s lots of things you can do to see an improvement.
Walking upstairs requires increased oxygen to the big muscles of the legs; this is why it’s actually a great exercise. If you can increase the strength of your leg muscles they will work more efficiently and getting up the stairs will become easier, so try to build up the number of times you do it over several weeks.
Also to strengthen your legs and improve fitness, do the sit-to-stand exercise:
- Put a strong upright chair against a wall so it can’t slip, sit up tall towards the front half of the chair with feet hip-width apart
- Now lift yourself up from the chair to stand up (without pushing yourself up with your arms) then lower yourself back down safely.
- Try to keep going for up to 30 seconds and count how many you can do.
- Each week try to increase the number and when it feels easy, try to keep going for up to one minute.
There's more great advice from Julie in every issue of Yours magazine, out every fortnight on a Tuesday.