Lung disease causes breathing problems and fatigue that can take a big toll on your quality of life. The UI Health Care pulmonary rehabilitation team teaches you how to breathe easier, feel better, and be more active.
Pulmonary rehabilitation can help you:
- Decrease your symptoms
- Function better during daily activities
- Improve your ability to exercise
- Maximize the effectiveness of your medications
- Feel less tired
No matter what type of lung disease you have, we can help.
A truly personalized program
We know lung disease affects everyone differently. That’s why we’ll create a pulmonary rehabilitation program just for you, based on your unique needs, abilities, lifestyle, and goals.
While many pulmonary rehabilitation programs are simply group exercise classes and lectures, that’s not how we do it. We work with you one-on-one, so we can adjust your program as needed and give you exactly the information you want.
We measure your functional capabilities, quality of life, and other markers at the start and end of your program. That way, you can see— and celebrate—your progress.
Education and support
Your custom rehabilitation program will include:
- Supervised exercise to improve your heart and muscle strength, increase your energy, and help you use oxygen more efficiently
- Breathing exercises to increase your oxygen levels, and instructions for using supplemental oxygen, if needed
- Nutrition counseling so you can reach and maintain a healthy weight
- Strategies for managing the anxiety and depression that can result from living with chronic lung disease
Depending on your specific needs and goals, you might also learn about:
- How to use your prescription inhaler most effectively
- Clearing secretions or obstructions from your airway
- How to avoid frequent respiratory infections or flare-ups
- Methods and support to quit smoking
- Ways to get better sleep
A built-in support group
Many people who come to our clinic enjoy meeting others who are on their own pulmonary rehabilitation journeys. Our patient surveys tell us that sharing tips and forming friendships is a valuable part of the experience.
The UI Health Care approach to pulmonary rehabilitation
Your pulmonary rehabilitation program can begin anytime.
If you’re a hospital inpatient for a lung transplant or other procedure, we’ll start working with you while you’re hospitalized.
If you’re referred to us by your pulmonologist or another provider, you’ll come to our clinic.
We meet you where you are
During your first session, we’ll talk with you about your condition, your symptoms, and—most important—your goals and priorities.
Our team will also help you do a brief exercise test that’s based on your abilities. It may be as simple as walking in the hallway for six minutes.
Your goals and test results help you and your team shape your personalized rehabilitation plan.
How long does pulmonary rehabilitation last?
The length of your rehab program is based on your specific needs and preferences. You can choose to come two or three times per week, for a total of either 24 or 36 sessions.
When you finish your sessions, you can decide how to continue. You may:
- Do a personalized exercise program at home on your own
- Come to the clinic to exercise with others under minimal supervision from our staff
Whichever you choose, it’s important to stick with your exercise routine to maintain the progress you’ve made and continue to improve.
Pulmonary rehabilitation tests and treatments
- Diaphragmatic breathing
- Medication management
- Mental health support
- Nutrition counseling
- Pursed-lip breathing
- Smoking cessation
- Supervised exercise
- Supplemental oxygen instruction
Pulmonary rehabilitation conditions treated
The University of Iowa Health Care Keep Moving Program is an independent exercise program for people who have completed the outpatient Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program. Participants exercise under the supervision of professional staff members. They also receive reinforcement of disease self-management, which was learned during participation in the outpatient Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program.
Particular emphasis is placed on the patient’s management of their symptoms, use of an action plan and participation in physical activity outside of the Keep Moving Program. Staff provides reinforcement and guidance to encourage patients to continue working toward long-term behavior changes.