Content Map Terms

Persons with Lung Conditions

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a chronic disease that causes shortness of breath, fatigue and decreased ability to do day-to-day activities. Most people with COPD are less physically active than the Canadian guidelines recommend.

Physical Activity and Lung Disease

Current Canadian guidelines recommend doing light- to moderate-intensity physical activity on 3 to 5 days per week and working up to 30-minute bouts on each day.

Regular physical activity, such as gardening, walking, and cycling, can help improve:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Muscle endurance
  • Mood
  • Overall quality of life

Useful Resources

COPD Post Discharge English Rehab Exercise (Providence Health, Canada)
This online video will offer advice and suggestions to persons with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease on how to start an exercise program and increase activity levels.

Living Well with COPD – Get Moving and Breathe Easy (McGill University Health Centre, Canada)
The objective of this brochure is to help persons with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and their families increase their level of daily physical activity on a long-term basis.

Living Well with COPD – A Plan of Action for Life (McGill University Health Centre, Canada)
This is a learning tool for persons with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and their families that teaches them how to maintain an exercise program for life.

BC Lung Association Pulmonary Rehab Programs
This webpage allows you to find your closest pulmonary rehab program. Pulmonary rehabilitation is a specialized exercise program for people with long-term lung disease like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Most sessions focus on improving your exercise ability to improve your quality of life. There is a lot of research that shows that pulmonary rehabilitation helps people with the disease live better.

Living an Active Life with COPD (European Lung Foundation, United Kingdom)
This webpage outlines the benefits of an active life while living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Understanding Diet, Exercise and Lung Disease (National Jewish Health Institute, USA)
A booklet that teaches you how to become more active and eat a healthier diet.

Rx for Health Series (Exercise Is Medicine, USA)
This webpage consists of handouts on physical activity for various chronic conditions, including asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder. The handouts are intended to be used with a health care provider and/or qualified exercise professional and available in English and Spanish.

Last updated: October 2023