BEING ACTIVE - General Information

Does exercise help lung disease?

Exercise and physical activity are very beneficial for people with chronic lung diseases. Despite breathlessness and other symptoms, people with chronic respiratory disease need to keep active; otherwise they gradually lose autonomy and quality of life because of persistent fatigue and reduced tolerance to effort. Living well with a chronic pulmonary disease means getting moving to breathe better.

Here is how being active can help you:

  • Better control your shortness of breath and other respiratory symptoms
  • Increase your strength and your tolerance to activities which require effort
  • Better control your anxiety
  • Increase your confidence in your own abilities
  • Improve your quality of life

What is the best exercise for people with lung disease?

A very important part of managing your chronic lung condition is to continue to be active, engaging in regular physical activity as well as exercise.

It is recommended that you do 30 minutes of physical activity every day.

Here are some examples:

  • Walking indoors or outdoors
  • Pedaling a stationary bicycle with low to moderate resistance
  • Climbing stairs, taking time to rest when needed
  • Participating in leisure activities (yoga, tai chi, ballroom dancing, bowling, shopping, etc.)
  • Engaging in daily life activities (housework, laundry, gardening, grocery shopping, walking to the convenience store instead of driving, preparing meals, etc.)
  • Working out in a gym or community centre, or participating in an aqua-fitness program

What is pulmonary rehabilitation?

Pulmonary rehabilitation is a structured and supervised exercise program for people with a chronic pulmonary disease. In a pulmonary rehabilitation program (also known as “rehab”) you will be followed by a team of healthcare professionals who will guide you in the practice of exercises adapted to your health condition. A “rehab” program will also include education to help you manage your disease on a day-to-day basis.

If you are limited in your daily activities and you need support to start an exercise program, speak to your doctor or healthcare professional to be referred to a pulmonary rehabilitation specialist.