Exercise for COPD patients

As the prevalence of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) continues to rise, increasing patients’ access to pulmonary rehabilitation, specialized physiotherapy aimed at helping patients make the most of their reduced lung capacity, is a top priority.

COPD Exercise Program Heart Centre

Dr. Pat Camp, head, St. Paul’s Hospital’s Pulmonary Rehabilitation Clinic, is leading the charge, pointing out that someone with COPD can reduce their risk of hospitalization by half with an hour of walking each day, which is significant considering that COPD is Canada’s leading cause of hospital admissions.

Because sedentary muscles use more oxygen than fit ones to do the same task, Dr. Camp and her colleagues are focused on making the rest of the body more efficient to create less demand on the lungs. By teaching patients more efficient breathing techniques and monitoring them in specialized exercise programs, patients are gaining tone and strength and require less oxygen overall, giving them more air, increased mobility and, ultimately, elements of their life back as they once knew it.

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