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Information and Patient Support

Home Training

Patients should be encouraged to undertake a home exercise program concurrent with the supervised sessions of the pulmonary rehabilitation program.

The home exercise program should be:

  • Started within 1-2 weeks after commencing the supervised training program to allow any difficulties undertaking the home program to be discussed and resolved during the supervised period.
  • Performed on 2 or 3 days per week (i.e. in addition to the 2 or 3 days that the patient is attending the supervised training program). In total, the patient should exercise 4 or 5 days per week.

After the pulmonary rehabilitation program is completed, patients should be instructed to exercise a total of 4 or 5 days per week at home or in a local gymnasium. The home program may include attendance at  a supervised maintenance exercise class if available (see Maintenance section).

The patient should be given a written home exercise program that includes descriptions and pictures of each exercise together with a diary card.

The home training program should consist of:


Walking for 30 minutes at the same pace as in the supervised program.
An exercise circuit that includes, where possible, identical exercises to the exercises that are completed during the supervised sessions.
Progression of the exercises in the home program should occur at the same time that exercises are progressed during the supervised sessions.

Tip: In some areas, where the climate is extremely hot or cold, or very humid/windy the local climate-controlled shopping mall may provide a suitable environment for walking training.

The home training program should include the following advice to patients:


Instructions not to exercise if unwell (eg. flu, chest infection) or within 1-2 hours of a meal
Instructions to stop and rest in the event of the following symptoms: excessive shortness of breath (much more than usual); chest, neck or arm pain of unknown origin in which case the patient should stop exercising immediately; excessive fatigue (much more than usual); dizziness, nausea, light-headedness; irregular heart beat or palpitations that are not usually experienced by the patient.