Following the prescription of the exercise program during the home assessment, the patient will continue with their rehabilitation at home in their own time.
This may involve exercising at:
Park or surrounding streets
Local shopping centre*
*A shopping centre is particularly beneficial during inclement weather and in situations where the patient is unable to walk in their local streets due to safety issues or excessive hills.
The home exercise program should include:
Walking at least five times per week
Strength training approximately three times per week
The walking distance and speed will be prescribed by the health professional at the home visit.
During the weekly telephone calls during the program, the health professional will assist the patient in progressing their walking program as appropriate.
Strength training exercises:
The following exercises are examples of upper limb strength training exercises in the home but may need to be modified or substituted based on the patients’ co-morbidities. The appropriate exercises will be prescribed during the home visit and progressed during the course of the program:
Wall push-ups – body weight
* Patients may choose to use purchased weights or home items such as packets of spaghetti or bottles filled with water.
The following exercises are examples of lower limb strength training exercises in the home:
Step ups – body weight but if progression required, weights can be held in the hands
Sit to stand – body weight
Straight leg raises – body weight but if progression required, weights can be added to the ankles
For more information on exercise prescription, go to the Pulmonary Rehabilitation Toolkit.
It is important that all patients understand when it is not appropriate to exercise – see the section on exercise safety “Before you exercise” in the Home Exercise Diary
Exercise is not recommended during a chest infection. Before exercising, patients should be instructed to check if they have any symptoms of a flare up.
During this phase of the program, a health professional will contact the patient by telephone for a weekly appointment to:
Review their home diary
Progress the exercise prescription
Deliver disease specific self management training