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Pulmonary rehabilitation (rehab) is a program that helps you breathe better and improves your overall health and strength. The program is run by a team of medical professionals who are specially trained to treat people with lung disease. With the team’s help, you’ll learn about your condition and gain skills to help you manage it.
Parts of a pulmonary rehab program include:
Exercise to help you increase endurance, strength, and flexibility. You may walk, ride a stationary bike, or do exercises in a chair. You will be taught stretches to do before and after exercise. You may also use weights to build strength. Your pulse, heart rate, and oxygen levels may be checked during exercise.
Education, including how the lungs work and how your lung problem affects your breathing.
Medication and equipment education, such as how and when to take medications, and how to use oxygen (if prescribed).
Breathing techniques to help you learn to control shortness of breath. These include pursed-lip and diaphragmatic breathing.
You’ll be surprised at how much you can achieve! Pulmonary rehab will help you:
Do more of the things you enjoy.
Improve your strength, endurance, and independence.
Do daily activities, such as household tasks, with less shortness of breath.
Understand your symptoms and medications. This can mean fewer emergency room visits and less time in the hospital.
Learn to relax and not panic when you feel short of breath.
Quit smoking. Even now, this is the most important change you can make for your health.
Get answers to your healthcare questions.
Set and meet realistic goals.