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Pulmonary Rehabilitation


Pulmonary rehabilitation combines exercise training and behavioral and educational programs designed to help people living with COPD control symptoms and improve day-to-day activities.

A New York Methodist team of doctors, nurses and respiratory, physical, and occupational therapists work together to help patients improve their day-to-day lives and restore their ability to function independently.

Pulmonary rehabilitation can help:

  • Reduce and control your breathing difficulties and other symptoms.
  • Educate you about your disease, treatment options, and coping strategies.
  • Teach you how to manage your disease.
  • Maintain healthy behaviors such as smoking cessation, good nutrition, and exercise.

In addition, pulmonary rehabilitation can help reduce the number and length of hospital stays and increase your chances of living longer.

Who Benefits from Pulmonary Rehabilitation?

In the past, pulmonary rehabilitation was used primarily for patients with COPD. However, it can also be helpful to people with other chronic lung conditions and to those who need lung transplants or other lung surgeries.

Whether you have a chronic respiratory system disease or are experiencing disabling symptoms, such as shortness of breath, cough, and/or mucus production, pulmonary rehabilitation can help. Even patients with severe disease can benefit.

What Does the Rehabilitation Involve?

Pulmonary rehabilitation involves:

  • Exercise training: lower body, upper body, ventilatory muscle training (for some patients).
  • Psychosocial support.
  • Educational programs.

New York Methodist partners with our affiliate, METRO SPORTSMED, to carry out exercise training. The training involves:

  • Lower body exercises like walking or riding a stationary bicycle to strengthen your leg muscles and increase muscle tone and flexibility.
  • Upper body training to increase the strength and endurance of arm and shoulder muscles. Strengthening these muscles is important because they provide support to the ribcage and can improve breathing.

Many patients with lung diseases are not in very good physical condition or have never exercised on a regular basis. But your New York Methodist and METRO SPORTSMED team understands this and will meet with you to assess your needs and develop an exercise program designed specifically for you.

For more information on the program, contact the Institute for Asthma and Lung Disorders of New York Methodist at 718.780.5835 or download our brochure.

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