What you learn and practice during a pulmonary rehabilitation program ideally carries over into your daily life after the program finishes. The benefits from pulmonary rehabilitation, such as improvements in exercise performance/fitness or quality of life, have been shown to decline gradually over 12 to 18 months after completing these programs.
Therefore, to maintain the health benefits of pulmonary rehabilitation, it is very important to keep exercising either with your home programme or in a group. If your exercise program stops, you lose fitness and muscle strength very quickly.
Many pulmonary rehabilitation programs offer a maintenance exercise program so that you can continue to exercise with others. Participants who have completed pulmonary rehabilitation can also access ongoing exercise in the community through the Lung Foundation’s Lungs in Action programs (contact the Lung Foundation phone: 1800 654 301, or visit www.lungsinaction.com.au).