Having shortness of breath (SOB) can really limit what people with chronic (long-term) breathing conditions can do. Even some everyday activities like walking or climbing stairs can be difficult.
Pulmonary rehabilitation (or rehab) is a program of exercises, under the guidance of trained breathing specialists, that can help you gradually build up your physical fitness and manage your condition. It includes the following:
Pulmonary rehab centers offer exercises to improve physical fitness. Lower-body exercises focus on leg workouts, which have been shown to be beneficial to people with breathing difficulties. Upper-body exercises and breathing muscle exercises are important to help in breathing as well as your ability to do daily activities.
Many centers offer education and counseling sessions about better managing your condition, with guidance on quitting smoking, diet, understanding your condition, and more.
People with chronic breathing difficulties can sometimes feel depressed or anxious. Some pulmonary rehab centers offer counseling and support to help them with these feelings.
Studies have shown that people who participated in pulmonary rehab experienced improvement.
If this sounds like something that could help you, ask your doctor about it.