Skip to main content

How much exercise is right for you?

Regular exercise can improve cardiovascular capacity (the ability of the body to take in oxygen and deliver it to your muscles and organs), muscle function, and quality of life for people with all types of PH. Even a small amount of exercise, such as walking slowly to the opposite side of the room, can have positive health benefits.

Exercise recommendations differ for each patient based on the severity of PH and other health factors. Depending on symptoms and your response to treatment, those recommendations might change over time.

Always talk with your PH care team before beginning an exercise program. Your PH specialist might recommend cardiac or pulmonary rehabilitation (if available in your area) or help you create an independent exercise plan that works for you.

Tips for Maximizing Your Energy

Finding the right balance of activity and rest can be challenging for people with PH. You know better than anyone how much PH can drain your energy and affect your mobility. Sometimes, even a walk is out of the question.

Not being able to do the things you did before being diagnosed with PH isn’t a sign of failure. Because of your PH, you must be more selective about what you can do and what’s important to you. Take time to re-examine your priorities.
Consider these strategies to conserve your energy:


  • Listen to your body.
  • ​Get comfortable saying no and not feeling guilty about it. If you tend to wear yourself out by helping other people, take a hard look at how you’re doing before accepting requests, invitations, or activities.
  • Take breaks or naps as often as you need.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for and accept help. Ask people to help you carry things, perform chores, or run errands. Many people feel good when they help someone else.

Home & Office
  • Set a timer during activities to remind yourself to take a break. For example, if you have physical work to do, set a timer for 10-15 minutes. When the timer goes off, stop working, hydrate, and rest for at least one minute for every minute worked.
  • Keep anything you use often at the hip level. Avoid stooping, crouching, or bending. If you must bend, get up slowly.
  • Elevate trash cans, washers, dryers, garden boxes, and furniture, especially your bed.
  • Keep a high stool in the kitchen to use while cooking.
  • Use a shower chair and moveable shower head.
  • Use a robotic vacuum and a grabber.
  • Use a wagon or wheeled cart to transport items.
  • Shop online and use delivery services. Why wander store aisles and wait at the register when you can do most of your shopping online?

On the Go

  • Obtain a parking permit for persons with impaired mobility. Ask your doctor for certification to send to your provincial authority.
  • Use mobility devices in places that require a lot of walking. Save your energy to enjoy the experience.
  • Research new destinations as much as possible.
  • Avoid parking on inclines so you use less energy when walking to or from your car.
  • Shop strategically to avoid extra walking.
  • Make your shopping list according to the store layout.
  • Keep a collapsible chair with you to make waiting in lines easier.

Resources for Staying Active with Lung Disease

Exercise & Nutrition Webinar, PH Community Conference, May 2022
Fitness for Breath Exercise Program, Lung Health Foundation
5 Videos to Safely Start a Home Exercise Routine, Pulmonary Hypertension Association