There have been so many things we’ve had to postpone, do less of and in some cases give up doing altogether due to the coronavirus. There is no doubt that it has been a challenge for everyone. But if you suffer from a chronic lung disease and your doctor has ordered pulmonary rehab sessions for you, now is definitely not the time to stop going. If your doctor has not mentioned it then you should ask them to recommend a pulmonary rehab facility near you and start going today. Why? While there is no cure for COPD, pulmonary rehabilitation is a program that includes exercise training, education about your disease and how to manage it, nutritional counseling, and breathing strategies. All of this can help decrease your symptoms, increase your ability to exercise, help manage anxiety and depression and provides much-needed social interaction while allowing fewer hospitalizations due to exacerbations. In some cases, patients have been able to successfully decrease the amount of supplemental oxygen they are using.
Once you have started your pulmonary rehab program it is just as important to stick with it because regular exercise provides continued benefits. Many pulmonary rehab facilities have maintenance programs that allow you to continue your program for a small monthly fee and in some cases, it is free with a Silver Sneakers plan covered by your insurance.
All this brings us to the most important concern: is it safe to attend pulmonary rehab with the pandemic continuing to affect the health of so many? Yes. All facilities are following CDC guidelines by screening patients as they come in, providing disinfecting products, distancing between patients, requiring masks, providing protective barriers and staggering start times to prevent overcrowding. Your safety is a priority at all facilities so if you’ve stopped attending, consider going back. Exercising will not only make your body feel better, but your mind as well.
Breathe Pennsylvania can provide assistance to help pay for your pulmonary rehab program. You can ask for more information at your rehab facility or call us at 724-772-1750