How can I carry on doing pulmonary rehabilitation?

If you attend a pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) programme, your face-to-face classes will have been postponed because of social distancing and shielding advice.

Some health care professionals who run classes may have been called away to work in hospitals to support the response to coronavirus.

But if you can, it’s really important to continue with pulmonary rehabilitation at home. PR helps you stay well and feel better mentally.

We’ve got resources to help you keep up with PR at home and to stay active.

Before you start any exercise, check with your health care professional or respiratory physiotherapist that it’s safe for you. You can also discuss with them the level of exercise that’s right for you.

Pulmonary rehabilitation at home

If you were on a PR programme, your PR team may already have been in touch to explain how things are changing. To help you continue your PR programme at home, they might offer advice by telephone, give you access to an app or run classes by video conferencing.

There are also some online PR programmes and you can find out more about these below. These programmes are free in some areas. You could ask your GP or PR team if you have access where you live.

We’d love to hear how’re you finding doing PR at home. Tell us how you’re getting on by emailing us at [email protected].

Online PR programmes

SPACE for COPD

SPACE for COPD is an online PR programme that helps you manage your condition and learn about topics like medication, breathing and diet. It includes a tailored programme of exercise and you can set goals to work towards. You can also ask an expert for advice or check out the FAQs for help.

The programme is being provided free to all teams that provide PR programmes for 3 months. You can talk with your PR team about getting registered.

Learn more about SPACE

myCOPD

myCOPD is an app that helps people with COPD and their clinicians to better manage the condition. It includes a 6-week online PR class, as well as an educational course, self-management plan and help with inhaler technique. It has been reviewed by NICE.

It is free in certain areas. You can ask your GP if you are able to get the app for free.

Learn more about myCOPD

Staying active

If you aren’t able to access PR at home, there are lots of other ways you can stay active at home. Being active helps you stay well, feel better mentally and feel less breathless.

Our handbook is designed for people with lung conditions to exercise at home. It helps you to keep track of your exercise and level of fitness. You can also follow our step-by-step exercise videos. There are 3 different levels of exercise to choose from depending on how breathless you feel.

Breathing exercises can help you feel more in control of your breathing and help manage breathlessness. You may also find relaxation techniques or mindfulness help to ease feelings of tension and anxiety.