Pulmonary Rehabilitation: Getting Started

Pulmonology / Pulmonary Rehabilitation: Getting Started

Pulmonary rehabilitation (rehab) programs can help people with chronic lung disease like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis. And, other conditions like cystic fibrosis, pulmonary fibrosis, and sarcoidosis. The programs are provided by health care professionals who will:

  • Teach you the skills you need to live and breathe better
  • Encourage you to put these skills to good use through lifestyle changes
  • Help you set realistic goals so you can make these changes gradually and effectively

Making changes that work for you

To reach your goals, you’ll probably need to make changes to your lifestyle. To help make changes go more smoothly:

Expect new emotions. It’s common to resist or feel angry or scared about having to make changes. You’re not alone. Share your feelings with the pulmonary rehab team and people close to you.

Prepare yourself for slow, steady progress. Change doesn’t happen overnight. To feel your best, you need to commit yourself to practicing your new skills. Over time, you’ll be stronger, have more control of shortness of breath, and be able to do more. But only if you keep at it.

Get support. Get support from family and friends as you try new things. Tell the people in your life how they can help you reach your goals. Share your ideas and tips for success with other members of your pulmonary rehab group. And don’t be embarrassed to ask for help.

© 2000-2015 The StayWell Company, LLC. 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.

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