Pulmonary Rehabilitation

Pulmonary rehabilitation is a six – eight week exercise and education program that teaches you the skills you need to exercise safely and manage your breathlessness.
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The Benefits of pulmonary rehabilitation

Research shows that pulmonary rehabilitation is one of the best things you can do to improve your breathing and wellbeing. It also reduces the frequency of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) exacerbations (flare-ups) and helps you stay well and out of hospital. 

An improvement in exercise tolerance is one of the main benefits of completing a pulmonary rehabilitation program. This helps make daily activities such as showering, hanging out the washing, walking, or gardening easier, increasing your independence. Regular exercise is an essential part of pulmonary rehabilitation, helping to reverse the cycle of inactivity and make exercise a part of your daily routine. 

Pulmonary rehabilitation also assists you to manage your lung condition, by providing valuable information such as breathing techniques, using your medications, and strategies for conserving your energy.   

It is also a great opportunity to meet others with a lived experience of chronic lung disease, which fosters friendships, sense of belonging and connection to a supportive, understanding community.  

“The most beneficial part of pulmonary rehabilitation was gaining the knowledge to understand what was happening to me and being able to control my breathing. This in turn assisted in controlling periods of depression and anxiety as well as accepting I have a serious health condition.”
Eric, Bundaberg, lives with COPD.

What does it involve?

Pulmonary rehabilitation programs are suitable for people who have a mild, moderate, or severe chronic lung disease, and who are limited by breathlessness.  

Generally, pulmonary rehabilitation programs run for six to eight weeks, with one to two exercise sessions per week. Before you start, a health professional will talk to you about your condition and will ask you to do some different exercise tasks. They will then design an exercise program suited to your needs and symptoms. Once you are confident to exercise on your own, you may be given a home exercise program to do on days of the week when you are not at pulmonary rehabilitation. Some pulmonary rehabilitation programs also offer information sessions to help you self-manage your condition. 

“Pulmonary rehabilitation made such a difference for me that my doctor took me off the waiting list for lung reduction surgery, and I am now back at work two days a week.”
John, lives with COPD