1. 1. Shortness of Breath
    2. 2. Excess Secretions
    3. 3. Conditions

    Breathe better with pulmonary rehabilitation

    If you live in the Bedford, Luton and Milton Keynes (BLMK) area and have breathing difficulties caused by a lung condition we are here to help.

    What is pulmonary rehabilitation?

    Pulmonary rehabilitation, often referred to as ‘PR’ is a programme of exercise and education for people with a range of long-term lung conditions provided by the NHS and Third-Party private organisations nationally.

    In the Bedford, Luton and Milton Keynes (BLMK) region there are several providers who offer this service to help you:

    • Improve your muscle strength, so you can use the oxygen you breathe more efficiently.

    • Improve your general fitness and help you to cope better with feeling out of breath.

    • Feel stronger and fitter, more confident and able to do more.

    “I was really worried about the idea of exercising, as I would get out of breath without much activity. I learnt how to gradually increase activity levels and learnt strategies to deal with breathlessness. Knowledge really is power- I can now manage my condition without getting anxious.” - Naqeeb

    The PR course combines physical exercise sessions with discussion and advice on lung health and is designed to help you to manage the symptoms of your condition, including getting out of breath.

    PR Courses vary slightly at different sites in BLMK but generally they last about six to eight weeks, with two sessions a week. Each session usually lasts between one-and-a-half and two hours. You will be part of a group, commonly between eight and 16 people.

    At the end of the course, you should have a greater understanding of your condition, how to manage it and maintain your levels of fitness and functionality. We strongly encourage participants to continue to embrace healthier lifestyles by joining any number of the physical and social activities by recommended partners.

    “My breathing is so much better after being on the Pulmonary rehabilitation course. In joined a walking group and have met new friends who have the same challenges that I have.” - Joyce

    Who should go to pulmonary rehabilitation?

    PR is aimed at people who have breathing difficulties caused by a lung condition that affects their ability to do normal activities. Most people who go to PR have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Some studies have shown that people with asthma and other long-term lung diseases such as bronchiectasis or idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) also benefit.

    “When I started the course, I could barely walk 500 metres before becoming too breathless to continue. By the end of six weeks, I could walk 1500 metres. It’s not about getting better; it’s about living better with my condition.” - Sarika

    You can participate in a PR course and see an improvement regardless of your age or severity of your condition. Completing a course of PR is a good way to learn how to exercise at the right level for you. Research tells us that PR leads to improvements in your ability to walk further and in your quality of life. PR should help you to feel less breathless doing day-to-day activities, such as walking upstairs, shopping and dressing. You should feel less tired too.

    Taking part will help you learn how to exercise in a safe and sociable environment. Most people enjoy the programme, gain confidence and benefit from meeting others in a similar situation and sharing their experiences. Some PR courses are held in a hospital, but often they take place in community halls, leisure centres or health centres.

    “Thank you for giving me my life back.” - Val