Move For Fun, Get Fit For Life.

Race Day September 22, 2018

Healthy Living Expo September 20-21, 2018

Small Steps, Big Changes

, by St. Luke's

In 2012, Russ Butler spent over a week in the hospital with pneumonia. He was suffering from lung function problems due to COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and couldn’t even make it up a flight a stairs without stopping to rest. “I was 71 years-old, overweight, and couldn't make it through the grocery store without using an oxygen tank,” he says.

What a difference a few years make.

Russ’s life began to turn around when he took part in St. Luke’s Pulmonary Rehab program for three months in 2013. The program includes medical management, exercise, breathing retraining and how to live while on oxygen, education, emotional support, and nutrition counseling. Russ continues to go to Rehab at least once a month, and works out 3 to 4 days a week at Anytime Fitness.

“Even though the damage to my lungs can't be fixed, my quality of life is considerably improved since I started pulmonary rehab,” Russ says. Today he rarely needs oxygen during the day, and his diet is much healthier. But Russ’s numbers tell the real story. Let’s take a look:

Every day he tracks steps taken, mileage walked, and stairs climbed on his Fitbit. In 2 years, he’s logged 7,201,050 steps (3,250 miles) and 10,600 flights of stairs. His current goal is 15,000+ steps (7 miles) and 15 flights of stairs daily.

Russ tracks his food and water consumption at, a free calorie counter that also gives him the contents of meals and keeps track of his weight. It also helps him keep his daily salt intake under 1,500 mg, and work toward his goal of 50 g or less of sugar.

Russ has:

Lost 40+ pounds and 6+ inches off his waist
Eliminated his cholesterol and triglyceride medications
Reduced his blood pressure medication by 50%
Added 5+ years back to his life (according to his doctor), “which I get to spend with my beautiful wife, kids, and grandchildren.”

Russ took the step to start pulmonary rehab, and it changed his life. Now he’s getting ready to take another step: He’s setting his sights for this year’s FitOne 5K.

If you have lung disease, ask your doctor if you’re a candidate for pulmonary rehab. And learn more about pulmonary rehab at St. Luke's


Tags: physical activity,nutrition,health,walking