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Does lung disease prevent you from exercising?

There are two types of lung disease:


Restrictive lung disease is when lung tissue is dysfunctional, decreasing one’s ability to expand the lungs. Causes of restrictive lung disease include neuromuscular disease, fractured ribs, and obesity.


Obstructive lung disease is when lung tissue is normal, however, flows are restricted. The major obstructive lung diseases are asthma, chronic bronchitis, and emphysema. “These diseases are characterized by chronic inflammation (causes primarily by smoking, although in the case of asthma may be caused by environmental irritants) and airway obstruction via mucus production” (NASM 407).


So what can you do if you have lung disease? Well you definitely CAN workout!:-)

Here are some guidelines:


-Aerobic exercise should be performed 3-5 days a week, at 40-60% of your maximum work capacity, for 20-45 minutes per session.

-Walking on the treadmill, stationary cycling, stair steppers, and the elliptical are great modes for cardio exercise.

-Resistance training should be performed 2-3 days a week, doing 1 set of each exercise for 8-15 reps.

-Use peripheral heart action, circulating blood between the upper and lower extremities of the body, by alternating between upper and lower body exercises during resistance training.

-Make sure you take an adequate amount of rest between each set.

And, as always, consult with a physician before beginning this or any workout regimen! Be safe and healthy, and contact me with any questions at:


Clark, M.A., Lucett, S.C., Corn, R.J. (2008). NASM Essentials of Personal Fitness Training. Baltimore, MD: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.



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