Physical Conditioning and Education in Rehabilitation

Where is the program held?

The exercise and education take place in the Cardiac Gym located on the second floor of Exeter Hospital.

Do I have to go to the education classes or can I just do the exercise?

The education component is just as important as the exercise and both must be attended to remain active in the program. We use many different disciplines to bring you the best education and advice to improve your quality of life. Discussions and presentations may be led by respiratory therapists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, dieticians, pharmacists, social workers and representatives from organizations in the community. Topics covered include basic lung anatomy and lung diseases, breathing and relaxation techniques, using medications, proper use of inhalers and spacers, healthy eating, traveling, what to expect from home care companies, oxygen use, energy conservation, avoiding irritants and complications, and more.

Education sessions are held either prior to or following an exercise session, so no special arrangements must be made to come to the hospital more than twice each week.

Tell me more about the exercise classes.

The exercise and education classes are currently held on Tuesday and Thursday each week, holidays excepted.

First, you are advised to wear comfortable clothing and supportive footwear. No special clothing is required. Each class begins with the collection of information about you, including your pulse rate, blood pressure and how you're feeling in general. Your oxygen level is also measured using a pulse oximeter. You will then typically do some breathing exercises and stretching, followed by low-level aerobic exercise and upper body strengthening to improve strength, flexibility and endurance. The type of equipment you use will depend upon the program developed for you. You will learn to monitor yourself during the sessions. At the end of the session you will do a cool-down and record the information as at the start of the session.

What if I miss a class?

The program is designed around an average of 16 total sessions per patient. If you miss a session, you make it up at the end. It is not unusual that illness or inclement weather interrupt a scheduled class. Because the program is individualized, we work on meeting your goals over a reasonable period of time while being sensitive to other issues that may arise in your life. .

Support and Activities Following the Program

What do I do when I'm done with the 16-week program?

You may elect to continue your exercise at home, or join other graduates in what is called the "maintenance program". Many of our graduates continue their group exercise at Synergy Health and Fitness, located on the Exeter Hospital campus. For a reasonable monthly fee, they meet three times each week - on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday -to continue their exercise under the watchful eye of an exercise physiologist.