The official blog of the Lung Institute.

Exercising with Lung Disease

9 Jan 2015
| Under Lifestyle, Lung Disease | Posted by | 4 Comments
Exercising with Lung Disease

Going to the gym every day often may seem like a chore to many individuals. However, this is the type of activity that most people with lung disease wish they could partake in more often. People who have lung disease typically cannot exercise as much. However, this doesn’t mean they should not exercise at all. Years ago, doctors told people with diseases such as COPD that they shouldn’t exercise, but now they are encouraging participation in fitness activities because it can be highly beneficial.

There are exercises for everyone and by consulting a physician and a personal trainer, you can create a work out regimen that works best for you and allows you to receive the maximum health benefits without overexerting yourself. Our fitness expert, Elyse, came up with a few ways lung disease patients can still enjoy the benefits of an active lifestyle.

Exercise Recommendations

Elyse recommends low-impact exercises like biking, walking or swimming. This way, you are able to control the amount of intensity you put into each workout and can lessen it if needed. On good days, you may be able to do more than other days, so remember to be flexible and remain positive.

Additionally, there are plenty of other ways to work your muscles. Some options don’t even require you to get up from a chair. One example is remaining seated and swimming your arms back and forth. You can also sit down and do leg marches or calf raises; anything that increases your heart rate is going to benefit your health overall.

How To Get The Benefits of Exercise

Your lungs are a muscle and you need to exercise them like any other muscle. Aerobic exercise can even decrease the feeling of being short of breath. When working out, be sure to pace yourself and know your body; you do not want to overexert yourself. So be sure to take breaks often and pause if you are feeling discomfort. It is possible to exercise with oxygen, so if you are feeling particularly out breath, don’t be afraid to grab your oxygen. Even if you feel that you must rest and take several breaks during an exercise, it’s okay! Take your time and start off slow. In no time, you’ll be feeling a lot better and more capable of taking your workouts to the next level.

Besides helping your muscle groups and improve your cardiovascular health, regular exercise can help combat diseases and other conditions. The healthier you are, the better you will feel. Your body is like a machine—you need to keep it moving and treat it well.

Elyse says that exercise can reduce blood pressure and can also benefit your mental health. She says, “Exercising regularly can help people manage stress and feel happier overall. The better you are to your body, the better you’ll feel and the lower your risk of disease will be. You only have one body, so treat it well.”

If you or someone you love suffers from a debilitating chronic lung disease such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD) or interstitial lung disease, you may think that a life that includes daily exercise is out of reach. Fortunately, that life can be yours with cellular therapy from the Lung Institute. For more information, contact us or call us at (800) 729-3065.


  1. PB

    2 years ago

    Dear Gary,

    First and foremost, we’re sorry to hear about the challenges you have been facing with pulmonary fibrosis. Like you, many people with pulmonary fibrosis experience difficulty breathing, especially during exercise. Keep seeing your doctors regularly, so you can work together on a treatment plan. Unfortunately, at this time, most doctors aren’t going to recommend anything that is not considered traditional medicine, especially when the treatment is not yet covered by insurance. Generally, doctors practice traditional medicine and are very statistical. Even though there are many advancements in the field of regenerative medicine, many doctors are still skeptical. However, we are hopeful that in the future cellular treatment will be covered by insurance. Keep in mind that this process can take time though.

    Also, feel free to share our most recent findings with your doctors, and remember that we are happy to answer any questions you have regarding cellular treatment. Contact us at (855) 313-1149 to speak with one of our patient coordinators today. We hope this helps you, and we look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Kind Regards,

    The Lung Institute

  2. Gary Ellis

    2 years ago

    I have pulmonary fibrosis: I quit smoking 30 years ago. but I started needing o2 about 8 years ago, It was not too bad at first. I got by on 5 liters pulsating tanks. then I started exercising(mostly walking) and after a couple three?? years. I could walk 1 mile a day without any o2 at all, I felt great with not needing any o2 for over a years and one day while walking I had a relapse and had to go to the hospital. For some reason I had the problem return and much worse this time.. I am now on 8L continuous flow o2 while active and I can get by on 2-3 L while sitting still. I am walking again but much less than before. I have built up to being able to walk on 8L cont flow for about 200 ft then I have to rest for 1-2 minutes then start again for a total of about 1 hour. I am going to a lung specialist in Walla Walla Wa but he is only prescribing esbiert. Another doctor, a blood specialist is giving me epo shots to build up my hemoglobin count which was 8.8 when he started. The meds are to get your hemoglobin back up to 10.0 which is still low but this is the policy of the insurance company. I am slowly doing better since I started the epo shots a couple months ago when my hemoglobin count was 8,8. It is now 10.4 and has been as high as 10.8 with no epo shots now for 2 months.. Why has not my 3 doctors even mentioned cells ? as an alternative approach?? is it too expensive for low income people?? I have medicare part A & B and blue cross but I am on limited income (social security) is there anything you can do??

  3. Pingback: Lung Institute | How to Use an Incentive Spirometer

  4. Pingback: Lung Institute |COPD Breathing Exercises

All claims made regarding the efficacy of Lung Institute's treatments as they pertain to pulmonary conditions are based solely on anecdotal support collected by Lung Institute. Individual conditions, treatment and outcomes may vary and are not necessarily indicative of future results. Testimonial participation is voluntary. Lung Institute does not pay for or script patient testimonials.

As required by Texas state law, the Lung Institute Dallas Clinic has received Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval from MaGil IRB, now Chesapeake IRB, which is fully accredited by the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Program (AAHRPP), for research protocols and procedures. The Lung Institute has implemented these IRB approved standards at all of its clinics nationwide. Approval indicates that we follow rigorous standards for ethics, quality, and protections for human research.