What is Pulmonary Rehabilitation?
Pulmonary rehabilitation is a program of education and exercise that helps you manage your breathing problem, increase your stamina (energy) and decrease your breathlessness. The education part of the program teaches you to be “in charge” of your breathing instead of your breathing being in charge of you. You will learn how to pace your breathing with your activities, how to take your medicines and how to talk with your healthcare provider.
The exercise sessions are supervised by a pulmonary rehabilitation staff that prepares an exercise program just for you. The exercises start at a level that you can handle (some people start exercising while sitting and others on a treadmill). The amount of time you exercise will be increased in time and the level of difficulty will change based on your ability. As your muscles get stronger, you will exercise longer with less breathlessness and be less tired.
How much time does a Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program take?
Most programs meet two to three times a week and programs can last 4 to 12 weeks or more. Because the program staff are constantly monitoring your progress and increasing your exercises as you are able, attending every session is important.