What is Pulmonary Fibrosis?

Pulmonary fibrosis is a lung disease characterized by the progressive scarring and stiffening of the lung tissue. This scarring is known as fibrosis, and it results from the excessive accumulation of fibrous or connective tissue in the lungs. As the lung tissue becomes scarred and less elastic, it becomes more difficult for the lungs to expand and contract properly during breathing. This can lead to breathing difficulties and reduced oxygen exchange between the air and the bloodstream.

There are several potential causes of pulmonary fibrosis, including:

  1. Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF): This is the most common form of pulmonary fibrosis, and its cause is unknown. It typically occurs in individuals over the age of 50 and progresses slowly over time.

  2. Environmental Factors: Exposure to certain environmental factors, such as pollutants, asbestos, silica dust, and other occupational hazards, can lead to the development of pulmonary fibrosis.

  3. Autoimmune Diseases: Some autoimmune diseases, like rheumatoid arthritis or systemic sclerosis, can contribute to the development of pulmonary fibrosis.

  4. Medications: Certain medications, particularly some chemotherapy drugs and certain antibiotics, have been associated with causing lung damage and fibrosis.

  5. Genetics: In some cases, there may be a genetic predisposition to developing pulmonary fibrosis.

The symptoms of pulmonary fibrosis can vary, but they often include shortness of breath, a persistent dry cough, fatigue, weight loss, and chest discomfort. Over time, as the disease progresses, the lung function can decline significantly, leading to decreased quality of life and complications.

Diagnosis usually involves a combination of medical history review, physical examination, lung function tests, imaging studies (such as chest X-rays and CT scans), and sometimes a lung biopsy to confirm the presence of fibrosis and rule out other potential causes.

While there is no cure for pulmonary fibrosis, treatment focuses on managing symptoms, slowing disease progression, and improving quality of life. This can involve medications to reduce inflammation, improve lung function, and suppress the immune response, as well as pulmonary rehabilitation to help patients maintain their lung capacity and physical endurance. In some cases, lung transplantation might be considered for individuals with severe disease.

The Importance of Exercise in Pulmonary Fibrosis

Exercise plays a crucial role in the management of pulmonary fibrosis. While it might seem counterintuitive to engage in physical activity when dealing with a lung disease that affects breathing, regular exercise can have significant benefits for individuals with pulmonary fibrosis. Here’s why exercise is important and how it can help:

  1. Improved Lung Function: Engaging in regular exercise helps maintain and improve lung capacity and function. It can help prevent further loss of lung function by keeping the lungs active and expanding the airways.

  2. Enhanced Cardiovascular Health: Exercise improves cardiovascular fitness, which in turn supports the heart’s ability to pump oxygenated blood throughout the body. This can be particularly beneficial for individuals with pulmonary fibrosis, as they often experience reduced oxygen exchange due to lung scarring.

  3. Increased Endurance: People with pulmonary fibrosis often feel breathless and fatigued even with minimal exertion. Regular exercise can help build endurance, allowing individuals to perform daily tasks with less difficulty and fatigue.

  4. Muscle Strength: Pulmonary fibrosis can lead to muscle weakness, especially in the muscles involved in breathing. Exercise helps strengthen these muscles, making breathing more efficient and less demanding.

  5. Mental Health Benefits: Dealing with a chronic lung disease can take a toll on mental well-being. Regular exercise has been shown to improve mood, reduce anxiety, and enhance overall mental health.

  6. Social Interaction: Joining exercise classes or support groups can provide an opportunity for individuals with pulmonary fibrosis to connect with others who are facing similar challenges, fostering a sense of community and reducing feelings of isolation.

  7. Weight Management: Maintaining a healthy weight is important for individuals with pulmonary fibrosis. Regular exercise can help manage weight and prevent complications associated with obesity.

Exercise with pulmonary fibrosis

Live & Breathe Better with Pulmonary Fibrosis

The Lung Workshop is 8 weeks of interactive group exercise training supervised by a rehabilitation specialist. The program is tailored to your needs and follows evidence-based exercise training which aims to improve respiratory symptoms and physical function.  

Initial Assessment

Schedule a consultation to meet your trainer, discuss goals and cost, address questions, and perform a quick physical assessment.

Exercise Classes

Attend two 60-minute supervised group exercise classes every week. The sessions are online via Zoom, so you can exercise at home and not worry about traveling to a gym or centre.


Receive practitioner support every step of the way. Our goal is to help you manage your condition, regain independence, and build confidence. 


The Lung Workshop is 8 weeks of virtual group exercise supervised by a rehabilitation specialist. The program follows evidence-based exercise training which aims to reduce breathlessness, improve lung function, and enhance quality of life.

The cost is $400 for the 8-week workshop. You will also have access to the Free Online Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program during and following the Lung Workshop.

All insurance plans are slightly different. If you are unsure as to which paramedical services are covered by your insurance plan, please review your policy document or contact your insurance provider. When speaking with your provider, be sure to ask specifically about coverage for supervised exercise training with a rehabilitation specialist.

We understand that not everyone has access to a fully equipped gym or expensive exercise equipment. That’s why we’ve designed our program to be adaptable and budget-friendly. All you need is a resistance band and two light weights / dumbbells. You can get creative and use household items (e.g., soup cans, water bottles, bags of rice) if you do not have dumbbells.

The program lasts 8 weeks, which includes a complimentary consultation, 2 exercise sessions every week, and practitioner checkins.

This is a virtual program offered online via Zoom.  

No, you do not need a signed referral from a doctor to participate in our program. Our mission is to make pulmonary rehabilitation easily accessible for everyone. We encourage all clients to discuss pulmonary rehabilitation with their physician to ensure the program is right for them.

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Pulmonary rehabilitation helps ease respiratory symptoms, improve physical and psychological well-being, and increase disease management. Please discuss your decision to begin online pulmonary rehabilitation with a doctor or health care provider.

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