Home Exercise Program

Your home exercise program is an important aspect of the Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program. These exercises are completed in addition to the exercise during our regular exercise program at the hospital. Establishing an exercise routine at home will help you maintain your health after graduating from the program.

The following is a guide for home exercises. Your specific home exercise routine will be discussed with you during the program and may differ from this guide.

Each person should work within his/her target heart rate range (if you can take your pulse), or use the RPD scale.


Week 2: Theraband given to each patient with cues to use at home 2 times a week.

Week 3-4: Theraband 3 times a week + 1 additional day of exercise.

Week 5-6: Theraband or LE exercise on non-rehab days + 2 additional days of exercise.

Week 7-8: Theraband or LE exercise + 3 additional days of exercise.

Graduation: Continue with home exercise per your discharge prescription and attend the maintenance program!


5 – 40 minutes of continuous exercise as tolerated by you.

Decrease intensity if needed for tough breathing days.

Plus: 5 – 10 minutes of warm-up/cool-down before and after exercise, plus your stretches!


Choose what you like! (walk, bike, swim, treadmill)

Don’t forget that after graduation from the rehabilitation program, you will be able to exercise on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at the hospital as part of the maintenance program!!!!

Walking Guidelines

Why is walking helpful?

By daily progressive walking, you use many of the muscles in your body, including your heart, which is also a muscle.

With this gradual exercise, the muscle fibers grow shorter, becoming more efficient and needing less oxygen.

Walking increases circulation and helps blood return to the heart and lungs, to pick up more oxygen.

Walking uses your whole body and helps to improve your overall conditioning and endurance level. This allows you to better tolerate other daily and recreational activities.

Important Considerations While Walking

Walk as often as possible while maintaining a controlled breathing pattern and using proper posture. Allow your arms to swing freely at your sides.

Start small (5 – 10 minutes) and increase your time and distance gradually. Walk at pace that keeps you within your target heart rate range and/or at a perceived breathing level as suggested by staff.

Walk outside daily, preferably when the air is less polluted and crisp.

If the weather is bad, walk around your home, or in a mall or store.

Start walking on level ground and, as you become conditioned, walk up grades.