If you or someone you love has Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD), it may seem scary and counter-intuitive to start an exercise class. 

 After all, people with COPD usually describe feeling short of breath often, getting puffed doing simple everyday tasks like hanging out the washing, and sometimes experience panic attacks due to breathlessness. 

But, NAPHL Physiotherapist Mick McGovern says an exercise program called Pulmonary Rehabilitation can help.

"People with COPD may notice they have greater dependence on medication/inhalers, a reduced capacity to work, exercise or to perform their usual daily activities," Mick says.

"Pulmonary rehabilitation can improve symptoms such as shortness of breath, fatigue, and anxiety about exercising."

Call the NAPHL Health Hub on 4722 8750 to find out how we can help you manage your COPD symptoms

With extensive training and exposure to managing respiratory conditions such as COPD in the hospital and community setting, Mick knows what he's talking about. 

As part of NAPHL's Better Breathing program, he works alongside people with respiratory conditions like COPD to help them achieve their goals and improve their function.

"Pulmonary rehab provides a monitored exercise program in a safe environment and involves a thorough assessment by a physiotherapist, goal setting, education and exercise prescription to improve confidence and capacity to exercise," Mick says.

"This process involves regular feedback to your GP or respiratory specialist, and may include referral to a psychologist or dietitian if required."

"Pulmonary rehabilitation would typically follow a decline in function or a COPD flare up, and in severe instances this may include a hospital admission."

If you or a loved one has COPD and are finding it harder to do everyday things, pulmonary rehab might be right for you. 

Speak to your GP or respiratory specialist to ensure you are medically cleared to exercise, and they can then refer you to a pulmonary rehabilitation program in your area. 

Pulmonary rehabilitation is offered one-to-one and in small groups at the NAPHL Health Hub.

Call us today to find out more.