Be referred to a pulmonary rehabilitation program
What is Lungs in Action?
Lungs in Action programs are safe and enjoyable ongoing community-based pulmonary maintenance exercise classes for people living with a chronic lung disease to maintain the benefits achieved through completing a pulmonary rehabilitation program. It is also suitable for people with heart failure who often experience similar symptoms such as breathlessness, to those with chronic lung conditions. Through these programs, we aim to support people in having access to an ongoing community exercise service tailored to their personal needs.
Lungs in Action classes are run by exercise professionals who have completed Lung Foundation Australia’s best-practice comprehensive training package. Classes provide an essential structure and exercise routine for people living with a chronic lung disease which is an important aspect of self-management to ensure they keep well and out or hospital, and are socially connected with people in similar circumstances for peer support.
What are the benefits for patients?
Research shows that for people living with a chronic lung disease, continuing regular exercise after pulmonary rehabilitation helps maintain their fitness and wellbeing. It’s important they continue regular exercise as the benefits of pulmonary rehabilitation can decline over 6 -12 months if it is not maintained.
Some of the other benefits of attending Lungs in Action include:
- Improve symptoms of breathlessness making daily activities easier
- Meet and socialise with people in a similar situation to them and who understand what it’s like to live with a chronic condition
- Exercises are tailored to their specific needs by a specially trained instructor.
Who can do Lungs in Action?
Lungs in Action is for people with stable chronic lung conditions who have completed a pulmonary rehabilitation program and is also suitable for people with stable NYHA Class II and III heart failure who have completed heart failure rehabilitation.
Whilst class formats may vary between instructors and equipment availability, all classes are suitable for people using supplemental oxygen and/or walking frames, and there are seated options for every exercise.
Become a Lungs in Action Instructor
There are many benefits to becoming a Lungs in Action Instructor including, supporting your local community, learning new skills, expanding your career, and enhancing your business. By establishing a Lungs in Action program, you will be helping people with a lived experience of chronic lung and heart disease to live their best life through exercise, reducing social isolation, enhancing community connectedness and sense of belonging.
Aileen had worked in the fitness industry for 18 years. Four years ago, she decided to give herself a new challenge by setting up a Lungs in Action class in her local area. She has found the experience to be incredibly rewarding, significantly improving participants exercise capacity and reducing breathlessness.
“If you’re considering becoming a Lungs in Action Instructor, you should do it because it is very rewarding. You meet a lot of different people with different conditions and it is very rewarding when you see them be able to do more things, do their exercise well, be able to go home and work at home and do things without feeling like they have to sit down.” Aileen, Lungs in Action Instructor, Bendigo VIC
Referring your patient
To enrol in Lungs in Action, patients must be referred by their health professional (medical practitioner or rehabilitation clinician) so they can be assessed to determine whether they meet eligibility criteria for safety.
The exercise pathway
Become a Lungs in Action Mentor
The practical component of the Lungs in Action Full Instructor Training includes mentoring support from the local pulmonary and heart failure rehabilitation programs to ensure trainees are provided the guidance and skill-set required to deliver safe and effective programs in the community. Without the valuable support of mentors, Lungs in Action could not run it’s current format. Mentors are an integral component to the program and the Lung Foundation Australia is thankful for their involvement. Exercise professionals, such as exercise physiologists or physiotherapists who are involved in delivering pulmonary and/or heart failure rehabilitation are encouraged to become mentors to further enhance their professional development and teaching, in addition to supporting the development of this important community-based exercise service to refer patients to.
Time Commitment and Expectations
Mentoring is designed to fit into your existing schedule as best as possible, and all required meetings and supervision with trainees will be scheduled with a time most convenient for you. To successfully mentor a trainee, you must be willing to allow approximately 4-5 hours of support involving a number of Lung Foundation Australia Lungs in Action specific assessments. All mentors are supported by Lung Foundation Australia’s Lungs in Action program manager and will be provided with information and resources to support their mentoring process. This support is available through the training journey to ensure you obtain the best experience.
- Mentors must be a physiotherapist or accredited exercise physiologists with at least 12 months experience in delivering pulmonary and/or heart failure rehabilitation. If you do not have both, two mentors – one pulmonary and one heart failure are required to oversee a trainee.
- All mentors must provide one page outlining your clinical experience which must include a minimum of 12 months of delivering the particular service you intend to mentor for.