Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey
195 Little Albany Street
New Brunswick, NJ 08903-2681
You or someone you know may have an ongoing pulmonary, or lung disease.
This video will show you how a pulmonary rehabilitation program can help you live better with lung disease.
Before you start your program, your healthcare team will learn about your health history.
For example, you may have had problems with your heart or blood vessels.
Then, they will test how well your lungs are working.
Breathing tests will measure how well you can breathe in and out, or how much air your lungs can hold.
A six-minute walk test may be performed. Your heartbeat, blood pressure, and blood oxygen level may be monitored.
Your healthcare team will use your health history and test results to custom design your program.
Your program may include three main parts: exercise, education, and counseling.
Over time, exercise can make your lungs and heart work better.
It may also increase the amount of time you can perform your daily activities, such as work, shopping, and exercise.
If appropriate for you, your program will include aerobic exercise. This type of exercise makes you breathe harder and your heart beat faster.
In addition, strength-training exercises can make your muscles stronger, and stretching exercises can improve your flexibility.
Education could include classes that will help you understand, manage and cope with your lung disease.
These classes will explain how the lungs normally work.
They will also explain how diseases, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, affect your lungs.
You can learn two ways to manage your breathing.
In pursed-lip breathing, you slowly inhale through your nose, and exhale through your mouth with pursed lips.
In belly breathing, you train the diaphragm muscle to do most of the work of breathing.
Your healthcare team will talk to you about your medication and lifestyle changes.
You will be shown how to use oxygen if you are receiving this therapy.
Talk to your doctor if you have questions about your medication, or have any side effects.
It is important to take your medications as directed by your doctor.
If you smoke, lifestyle changes will include a plan to help you quit.
A diet expert will help you make an eating plan if you need to gain or lose weight.
You will also learn ways to help prevent respiratory infections like certain types of pneumonia and the flu, by getting vaccinated.
The healthcare team may work with you to make a plan to help save your energy. This can help you get more done while avoiding too much activity.
Your program may also include counseling. This will help you cope with worry or depression you may have about your lung health.
After a few months on the program, you may be given additional exercises and lung tests.
These tests will help your healthcare team know if you’re reaching the program goals.
These goals may include: increased tolerance for daily activity, less disease symptoms, and self-management and coping skills.