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Pulmonary Fibrosis and Exercise: You Can Do It

Pulmonary Fibrosis and Exercise: You Can Do It

Pulmonary fibrosis (PF) is a chronic, progressive and interstitial lung disease (ILD), occurring primarily in older adults. Pulmonary fibrosis and exercise can be quite a challenge because of the severe symptoms of the disease, which occur especially during any type of physical exertion. Nevertheless, exercise can be of great benefit, and with a bit of determination, moderate levels of exercise can improve patients’ ability to stay active longer. Doctors generally recommend exercise for people with pulmonary fibrosis and other chronic lung diseases. Physical training cannot repair the damage to your lungs, but it can improve cardiovascular conditioning. When muscles are used regularly, their ability to use oxygen becomes more efficient, and those who exercise will probably suffer less from shortness of breath. So, in response to the question of whether you can have Pulmonary Fibrosis and Exercise: You Can Do It!

Regular Exercise Benefits Include:

  • Reduced stress levels
  • Higher energy
  • Sense of accomplishment
  • Better sleep
  • Better morale
  • Improved cognition

Can You Exercise Safely with Pulmonary Fibrosis?

According to the National Institutes of Health, exercise is a well-documented, safe and effective intervention for prevention and rehabilitation of chronic diseases. Pulmonary fibrosis (PF) is a chronic lung disease associated with severe signs and symptoms, exercise intolerance, reduced quality of life and poor prognosis. In the short term, supervised exercise training programs have demonstrated clinical benefits in improving exercise capacity, dyspnea (difficulty breathing) and quality of life in patients with PF. The underlying mechanisms of chronic adaption to a regular exercise regimen in PF have yet to be well-described and require further investigation.

In other words, exercise is a good idea. The benefit of exercise training is well-established for chronic conditions such as pulmonary fibrosis. Moderate levels of exercise that do not result in significantly worsened symptoms are generally safe, though it is imperative to monitor oxygen levels and be sure that the person exercising has safe blood-oxygen levels.

 Pulmonary Fibrosis and Exercise: You Can Do It

Always Ask Your Doctor about Pulmonary Fibrosis and Exercise

Keep in mind, for people who may have an undiagnosed heart condition or other serious condition, exercise could present some risk. Always talk with your doctor before starting or changing your exercise regimen.

Many doctors recommend pulmonary rehabilitation for people with PF. Pulmonary rehabilitation is a formal program for people with chronic lung disease, supervised by professional physical therapists and supported by educational and other programs as deemed necessary by a physician. In pulmonary rehabilitation programs, three physical responses are monitored: oxygen saturation, heart rate and symptoms. A compact, portable oximeter allows patients to monitor their oxygen saturation and heart rate at home. With proper supervision, people with pulmonary fibrosis can take full advantage of the benefits of moderate exercise. Your team will have pulmonary fibrosis exercise tips to help you achieve your exercise goals.

Talk with your physician about what type of exercise program is right for your particular situation. As with any exercise program, if you experience dizziness or lightheadedness, chest pain or visual changes while exercising, you should stop immediately and contact your doctor.

Pulmonary Fibrosis and Exercise

Under the supervision of a pulmonologist, patients with pulmonary fibrosis should exercise. With exercise, the lungs will work at maximum efficiency, and exercise enables the heart and other muscles to do more with the oxygen available to them. Many people find participating in pulmonary rehabilitation helpful as well. Once they learn how to exercise properly and safely, they feel ready to try exercising on their own. In combination with exercise, staying on top of your pulmonary fibrosis treatments is important. Work with your doctor to develop the best pulmonary fibrosis treatment plan for you. Some people have noticed improvements in their quality of life after cellular therapy. If you or a loved one has pulmonary fibrosis or another chronic lung condition, the Lung Institute may be able to help with a variety of adult cellular therapy options. Contact us today at (800) 729-3065 to see if you qualify for cellular therapy, and find out what cellular therapy could mean for you.


  1. Lung Institute

    4 months ago


    Thank you for your comment and question. The principle behind exercise is it is supposed to make the body more efficient, thus allowing it to use less oxygen to do things. We would suggest you speak with your doctor or therapist and discuss what type of exercise you are doing. You may need to modify or change the type of workout you are currently doing.

    You can learn more about cellular treatments and have your questions answered by one of our qualified patient coordinators. Feel free to contact us at (855) 313-1149 for more information. We look forward to hearing from you soon.


    The Lung Institute

  2. Jan riche

    4 months ago

    I have ipf and my exercise program leaves me with no stamina for the rest of the day. Is there a point at which exercise becomes counterproductive

  3. Lung Institute

    8 months ago


    We are sorry to hear about your husband’s lung disease. There is really no way to determine life expectancy with a lung disease because each case is different. Please take a look at these blog articles to provide you with information. For many of our patients, treatment has helped them feel better and breathe more easily.

    We’re happy to answer your questions about cellular therapy for lung disease. Our dedicated medical team has a wealth of knowledge about cellular therapy, treatment options, candidacy and more. So, feel free to contact us at (855) 313-1149 to speak one-on-one with someone from our medical team over our secure phone line. We look forward to hearing from you soon.


    The Lung Institute

  4. Lina

    8 months ago

    My husband has lung disease intertitial tell me about this what is the life span

  5. Matt Reinstetle

    1 year ago

    Hello Anita Brown,
    Thank you for your question. Both pulmonary fibrosis and COPD are both chronic lung disease but they are categorized differently. COPD is an obstructive lung disease, meaning it’s difficult for the lungs to expel air. Pulmonary fibrosis is a restrictive lung disease, meaning the lungs have trouble fully expanding to take in air. You can learn more about these differences by clicking here. Thanks again and have a great day.

  6. Anita Brown

    1 year ago

    Is pulmonary fibrosis and COPD the same?

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.

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