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PA-IPF Registry home  

The Daniel and Joan Beren
Pennsylvania Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis
State Registry

A project of the University of Pittsburgh, University of Pennsylvania, Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Temple University, Geisinger Medical System

PA-IPF Hotline  1-866-922-4IPF (4473)


Risk factors for IPF
Diagnostic test for IPF
I've been diagnosed with IPF, now what?
What if I need oxygen?
Exercise and IPF
Find a support group
How will IPF affect my diet?
I'm afraid of death, what can I do?
Will my children get IPF?

Can I Exercise with IPF?

Especially for the active person, IPF can seem like a devastating illness, and there is no doubt that it will change your life significantly.

Of course, exercise depends on a variety of factors including how advanced the disease is, as well as your age and overall health. You doctor will evaluate your condition and make appropriate recommendations.

While preparing for a lung transplant, one patient "worked out three days a week, especially my upper body and on the treadmill. I would use oxygen (a higher dose) with moisture injected in it. I'd take K-Y® Jelly on a Q-Tip® and put it in my nostrils to keep them from drying out. I also park my car as far away as I can in a parking lot."

Another patient says, "I am not exercising, although I should be doing it. I am not sitting on the couch doing nothing. I am a nurse and still able to work (on my feet all day) and can take care of my five-year old little wild boy."

Along with your doctor, you can design a regimen that will keep you active and fit, which will help to minimize the effects of IPF.

Your lung disease has made you more short of breath upon exertion and, consequently, you have limited your activity level. Although this may diminish the stress of experiencing shortness of breath, this inactivity creates a vicious cycle with many adverse effects. Inactivity leads to further self-restrictions to participate in physical work. Almost every part of your body is adversely effected by inactivity.

Participating in an exercise program may increase your sense of well-being. Many research articles have documented that patients feel more in control of their bodies and environment. They report experiencing less depression and anxiety upon exertion. Patients also feel more confident in dealing with the community and resume many of their normal relationships with family members and friends.