“We do a lot of upper-body aerobics,” Ashworth said. “When people have shortness of breath, they often will stop using their arms. We want to build up those muscles, aid in the body’s ability to breathe.”
The program also concentrates on balance exercises and cardiovascular exercises.
Both Baker and Irwin are approaching the end of their eight-week sessions but have the confidence to continue working on their own, either at home or in local exercise facilities.
“These people (participating in the program) are living with chronic disease,” Ashworth said. “We want to make the disease live around them instead of letting the disease take over their lives.”
Participants are referred to the program through their primary-care doctors or through pulmonary specialists.
Sessions take place in the hospital’s Cardiac Rehab Center, located at 210 Cornelia St. on the CVPH campus.
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Pulmonary rehabilitation helps to:
▶ Improve the strength of the muscles used for breathing.
▶ Manage shortness of breath.
▶ Improve upper-body strength.
▶ Improve ability to do daily activities.
▶ Improve quality of life.