Patients should be encouraged to undertake a home exercise program concurrent with the supervised sessions of the pulmonary rehabilitation program. The home exercise program should be:
- Started within 1-2 weeks after commencing the supervised training program to allow any difficulties undertaking the home program to be discussed and resolved during the supervised period.
- Performed on 2 or 3 days per week (i.e. in addition to the 2 or 3 days that the patient is attending the supervised training program). In total, the patient should exercise 4 or 5 days per week.
After the pulmonary rehabilitation program is completed, patients should be instructed to exercise a total of 4 or 5 days per week at home or in a local gymnasium. The home program may include attendance at a supervised maintenance exercise class if available (see Maintenance section).
The patient should be given a written home exercise program that includes descriptions and pictures of each exercise together with a diary card.
The home training program should consist of:
|Walking for 30 minutes at the same pace as in the supervised program.|
|An exercise circuit that includes, where possible, identical exercises to the exercises that are completed during the supervised sessions. |
|Progression of the exercises in the home program should occur at the same time that exercises are progressed during the supervised sessions. |
Tip: In some areas, where the climate is extremely hot or cold, or very humid/windy the local climate-controlled shopping mall may provide a suitable environment for walking training.
The home training program should include the following advice to patients:
|Instructions not to exercise if unwell (eg. flu, chest infection) or within 1-2 hours of a meal |
|Instructions to stop and rest in the event of the following symptoms: excessive shortness of breath (much more than usual); chest, neck or arm pain of unknown origin in which case the patient should stop exercising immediately; excessive fatigue (much more than usual); dizziness, nausea, light-headedness; irregular heart beat or palpitations that are not usually experienced by the patient.|