At Georgetown Community Hospital, our pulmonary rehab program includes a team of healthcare providers such as a pulmonologist, registered respiratory therapists, registered nurses, and exercise physiologist, who work together to provide you with the best care possible.
Exercise can improve the function of your heart and lungs while strengthening the muscles that are used for breathing which will help to decrease your shortness of breath. It is common for people who experience shortness of breath to limit their physical activities because they are fearful of becoming more short of breath - but when you are inactive, the strength of your muscles, lungs, and heart decline. Exercise is an essential part of pulmonary rehabilitation. Pulmonary rehab helps you pursue activities to the fullest extent of your abilities and helps maintain physical fitness and regain control of your breathing. Exercise training may include walking, stationary bicycling, resistance training; breathing training, relaxation techniques, and energy conservation for many daily activities is also addressed.
Education about chronic lung disease and self-management of the symptoms that accompany breathing problems for both the patient and their family or caregiver is provided. Education may include one-on-one teaching, written materials or group classes. Videos and other visual aids may also be used. Teaching sessions with a healthcare provider are very important and will provide you with information about your specific medications, treatments and self-management skills.
Nutrition and weight management is important for people with chronic lung disease. Shortness of breath and fatigue can interfere with your ability to eat a balanced diet and the amount and type of food can cause increased shortness of breath. A registered dietician can offer practical suggestions for healthy nutrition, food selection and preparation.