call 1800 654 301
COPD. Online. Patient. Education.

Interval exercise program

You may find it better to exercise using an interval program with regular rest periods rather than trying to exercise continuously without any rests.

For example, an interval program might be: walk for one to two minutes, rest for one minute and then walk again. You may need to repeat this interval many times to achieve at least 20 minutes of total walking time.  Don’t worry if you cannot achieve a total of 20 minutes the first time you exercise. You can aim to build up to this over time.

Interval exercise programs have many advantages. These include helping you to tolerate your exercise routine better as well as enabling you to exercise at a higher intensity, which can give you a greater improvement in your fitness. 


Exercise needs to be part of your weekly routine and you should plan enough time to fit this into your week.

You should try to exercise at least three days per week. This might seem like a challenge at first so you may need to work up to it but the effort is worth it as this amount of exercise per week will help you improve your fitness and better engage in the activities of daily living that you enjoy. The good news is, the more you exercise the easier it becomes so don’t give up!

When attending your pulmonary rehabilitation program the staff will assess your exercise tolerance at the start of the program. From this assessment, you will be prescribed a program at the right level for you. If being a prescribed a home-based program, similar assessments will be made before determining the best intensity of exercise for you.