Welcome to Lungs in Action, the community based exercise maintenance program for people with stable chronic lung conditions who have completed a pulmonary rehabilitation program. In some locations, Lungs in Action instructors have extended their qualifications to include heart failure clients. This fitness program is geared toward assisting people to maintain the benefits achieved through pulmonary rehabilitation and heart failure rehabilitation. Lungs in Action is not a health program and the instructors are not trained to provide any medical advice. However, the exercise professionals have been trained to provide a safe environment in which COPD and heart failure patients can continue to exercise.
People who complete rehabilitation report significant physical and emotional gains and an improved quality of life, but find it difficult to comply with recommendations to continue to exercise without the ongoing support from a structured program or leader. Lungs in Action provides an essential structure that enables clients to maintain an exercise routine critical to keeping them well, socially connected and out of hospital.
For people with moderate to severe COPD or heart failure, a weekly community-based exercise maintenance class, supervised by a trained exercise professional, combined with a home exercise program is an effective intervention for maintaining improvements following pulmonary rehabilitation.
There are however a few key differences between Lungs in Action classes and rehabilitation:
- Pulmonary and Heart Failure Rehabilitation are conducted by Health professionals such as Physiotherapists and Exercise Physiologists. These people are qualified to conduct health assessments, monitor blood pressures and oxygen saturation levels and make decisions about the exercise criteria and the specific limits for individual participants. Lungs in Action instructors are exercise professionals who are trained to understand these implications and deliver exercise programs that meet the safety criteria.
- At Pulmonary and Heart Failure Rehabilitation you will have been taught the skills that you require in order to self-manage your condition. This will include any of the following: relaxed breathing and/or pursed lips breathing techniques; recovery times required to bring your oxygen saturation levels back to baseline; supplemental oxygen usage including allowable operating levels and equipment operation and maintenance; requirements to perform daily weighing; recommendations for fluid restrictions; clear guidelines not to exercise when you are UNWELL.
- Lungs in Action instructors have undergone comprehensive education of COPD and other Lung Diseases, and Heart Failure and through their prior Fitness Instructor training already understand the exercise implications (and necessary alterations) for people with conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis, osteoporosis and other conditions. However, the Lungs in Action instructors cannot provide medical advice about these issues and therefore they will not be measuring blood pressures, blood sugar levels or oxygen saturation levels and cannot make formal assessments about injuries or other pain that may occur in these classes. Wherever necessary, Lungs in Action instructors may refer you back to your physiotherapist and/or physician.
- Lungs in Action instructors are also not permitted to adjust oxygen levels at any time (as this is the same as administering prescription medication). The role of the Lungs in Action instructors is to provide a safe and friendly exercise environment that will encourage you to keep utilizing all the techniques you have already learned at Pulmonary or Heart Failure Rehabilitation.
- Lungs in Action classes may have different exercises and/or class formats to those that you were used to in Pulmonary and Heart Failure Rehabilitation. It is more than likely that your referring practitioner will have already assessed the Lungs in Action instructor’s style and class structure prior to referring you and is confident that it is appropriate for you.
Referral to Lungs in Action class means that your physiotherapist or exercise physiologist is confident that you have all the skills necessary to participate in that class. So CONGRATULATIONS on being a successful Pulmonary or Heart Failure Rehabilitation graduate!! We look forward to helping you maintain an improved quality of life.