“It’s provided me with the tools to help me live better with my condition”
Pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) is one of the most important things you can do to better manage your COPD. It is usually a 6 to 8 week group programme with two group exercise sessions a week. You will work with a team of healthcare professionals who will teach and help you to exercise safely and to manage your COPD better. The knowledge and skills you gain during the class will help you to stay healthy and active long after you complete the programme.
The PR programme will cover different areas of managing your COPD:
- how to clear phlegm
- coping with breathlessness and relaxation techniques
- oxygen treatment if needed
- pacing yourself, learn how to do everyday tasks with breathlessness
- how to stay healthy and avoid COPD flare ups
You will also meet people with COPD, who have many of the same experiences, questions and feelings that you do.
When you start the class you may only be able to begin exercising at a slow pace. You will start at 30 seconds for each exercise. This is okay. If you require oxygen in the class you can use it. Your oxygen level, heart rate and blood pressure will be monitored so you can exercise safely and effectively. You will be amazed at how much you can achieve through the classes.
What Can I do?
You should speak to your healthcare professional to see if you are suitable for this class. They will then refer you to a local pulmonary rehabilitation programme. The team will do an assessment with you before starting on a programme and after finishing the programme. These assessments help to see the effects the programme had on you.
Pulmonary Rehabilitation teaches you how to manage your COPD. You will need to keep doing what you have learned so that you continue to get the benefits of regular exercise, either at home or at a local exercise class in your area such as the local COPD Support Ireland group exercise classes.