It's easier to jog when you can breathe

Pulmonary Rehabilitation (PR) gives you the tools to improve your quality of life by improving how you breathe. PR is often recommended by your doctor after you have gone through Pulmonary Function Testing (PFT) and been diagnosed with a lung disease or other chronic lung condition that makes breathing difficult.

At UM Capital Region Health, our PR program is designed to educate you about your disease, improve your stamina through a supervised exercise program and give you the coping skills to manage your disease more effectively. Our Registered Respiratory Therapists (RRTs) review your medical records and diagnostic test results and then work with you to create an individualized plan to help you breathe better.

Pulmonary Rehabilitation (PR) helps people with chronic lung conditions learn how to breathe better.

  • Asthma
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
  • Bronchiectasis
  • Pulmonary Fibrosis
  • Interstitial lung disease

PR is also a recommended therapy for pre- and post- lung transplant surgery and for morbidly obese individuals with restricted lung capacity.

The Program

We tailor our Pulmonary Rehabilitation program based on your disease, state of health and desired outcomes. Most programs include education, physical exercise, breathing techniques and coping skills to help you improve your quality of life.


We want you to understand what is happening if you become short of breath. We start with making sure you understand how to use your medication and equipment. Knowing what is happening and why can help you relax and eliminate the panic that can set in when you suddenly can't breathe.

Breathing Techniques

You have probably gotten used to being short of breath and having to 'shallow breathe'. We will teach you breathing techniques to help you reduce episodes of shortness of breath and recover more quickly when they occur.


The exercise program is designed to help you build stamina through supervised, monitored, moderate exercise so you can perform your normal, daily tasks without huffing and puffing. Your personalized exercise program may include:

  • Walking on a treadmill
  • Riding a stationary bike
  • Light free weights
  • Exercise bands

During your session we will monitor your blood pressure, heart rate and oxygen saturations so that we can track your health and you can track your progress in real time. We also provide oxygen for those who need it.

Learning to Cope with Life's Challenges

Everyone experiences stress in their life, but when you can't catch your breath, it's easy (and normal) to panic. In addition to breathing techniques to help calm you, our program helps you identify your stress triggers and teaches you how to control your panic when you get short of breath. We also give you tips on how you can prepare for potentially stressful activities such as going out to dinner or traveling

Program Goals: It's All About Quality of Life

Pulmonary Rehabilitation isn't just about breathing better; it's about increasing your ability to participate in your life. For some people, that means being able to do household chores like making a meal without having to sit down. For others, it means walking to the mailbox or going to church without stopping to cough. By participating in our program, we want you to:

  1. Be better able to perform tasks of daily living, such as household chores, shopping or other activities
  2. Learn how to manage your symptoms and medications, which can mean fewer office visits and less time in the hospital
  3. Relax and not panic when you feel short of breath
  4. Do more of the things you enjoy.

When prescribed by a pulmonologist or primary care provider, Pulmonary Rehabilitation is generally covered by most insurance, including Medicare. We will verify your insurance eligibility before your first appointment.

Ask your doctor if you would benefit from pulmonary rehabilitation to help manage your lung disease.

For more information or to learn about how to get a referral, please call 301-618-6698 for a confidential consultation.