The Goals of Pulmonary RehabilitationThe goals of our program are to enable people with breathing issues to achieve their maximum level of independence and ease of breathing so they can enjoy the most active lifestyle possible. These goals are accomplished by:
- reducing shortness of breath
- increasing tolerance to exercise
- improving balance
- and decreasing anxiety about being active
COPD PatientsPatients with COPD are able to improve their level of independence, activity level and perceived quality of life. Exercise strengthens the heart as well as the muscles used for breathing so this can help alleviate shortness of breath. People with COPD tend to limit physical activity because they are fearful of becoming short of breath, but inactivity causes muscle strength and heart health to decline. Pulmonary rehab helps patients maintain physical fitness and regain control of their breathing. They can then pursue activities to the full extent of their abilities.
AsthmaticsFor patients with asthma, the goal is to help them keep an active lifestyle. Regular exercise can help them maintain control of their asthma symptoms, and reduce the risk of flair-ups, as well as the use of medication. It also boosts the immune system, aids in weight management, and improves the body’s oxygen efficiency, which leads to improved cardio-pulmonary fitness.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) PatientsPeople with OSA share many of the same symptoms and complaints as those diagnosed with COPD and/or asthma. Participants with OSA see an improvement in their capacity for exercise and the activities of daily life. Their balance improves, and they have increased strength in the muscles they use for breathing. An increased ability to exercise, along with a healthy diet, may lead to weight reduction, which is a goal for many with OSA. To achieve this objective, each exercise program is customized to the participant, providing them with specific exercises based on their individual abilities and personal goals. All participants undergo:
- a comprehensive medical history evaluation
- complete life-style and fitness questionnaires
- cardiovascular fitness assessment
- cholesterol evaluation
- body composition measurement
- testing of their strength and balance
These individualized programs, designed by a pulmonologist and exercise physiologist, and held in a controlled setting, help patients safely regain and improve their respiratory health.
What the Program Involves
The Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program runs for 90 minutes once per week for eight consecutive weeks.
Each session focuses on a different topic, such as:
- balance and mobility
- fitness and strength
- controlled breathing techniques
- and stress management tools
Pulmonary Rehab Program Timeline
- Week One: Fitness evaluation, introduction to cardio machines, learn controlled breathing.
- Week Two: Light strength training and learn about inspiratory muscle trainer.
- Week Three: Learn about balance and at-home exercises.
- Week Four: Learn about nutritional information.
- Week Five: Learn about depression and COPD, asthma, sleep apnea and resource organizations.
- Week Six: Learn about ways to conserve energy.
- Week Seven: Nutritional review.
- Week Eight: Re-evaluation of fitness, home exercise prescription.
Each Session is Supervised by Our Expert Clinicians
All exercise therapy is overseen by a Master’s degree exercise physiologist who monitors each patient’s oxygen level, heart rate and blood pressure.
Each week the educational component includes a cardiovascular session with activities such as walking on a treadmill or riding an upright bike.
Strength training may include working with lightweight dumbbells or resistance bands.
Fall Prevention is a Top Priority for Us
Poor balance is a medical issue affecting a large number of people and our pulmonary rehab program specifically addresses this issue with exercise and instruction.
Balance training may use stability balls, chair, and wall support, and dynamic body movements.
Meet Your Therapists
Logan Flanagan is one of our two outstanding Exercise Physiologists here at CAARD. Logan is a Westfield State University Alumni, graduating in 2020 with a Movement Science degree with a concentration in Sports Medicine. She received honors all 4 years and was a volunteer for Love Your Melon Club and The Movement Science clubs at WSU. She was a captain of her high school soccer team, the Amesbury Indians. Her main interest is exercise, specifically strength training, in which she gained her knowledge through years of soccer, college and research. Logan’s next step is working towards becoming a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.
As she would say “she is one with nature”. She enjoys capturing the beauty of life through her camera lens, which brings peace to her mind, body and soul. For fun she loves fishing with her dad, going to the gym and having a good time with her friends. She is very outgoing and cares deeply about the health and wellbeing of our patients. Logan is grateful for all of the relationships she has made with the patients so far and is eager to continue to build and gain new knowledge, friendships and experience while working here at C.A.A.R.D.
Hannah Mullaney is our other outstanding Exercise Physiologist here at C.A.A.R.D. She graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 2021 with a degree in Exercise Science with a minor in Psychology. She received honors throughout her years at UNH and was on the Board of The Association of Exercise Science Students. Hannah’s goal is to become a physical therapist for the pediatric population.
She was a competitive baton twirler for 16 years and continues to coach the up-and-coming baton twirlers on “The Ameri-Kids team.“ Hannah’s care and compassion for her patients are demonstrated in all that she does. In her free time, Hannah enjoys hiking, skiing and spending time with friends and family.