Should You Exercise If You Have Pulmonary Hypertension?


In this video from the Vera Moulton Wall Center for Pulmonary Hypertension Disease at Stanford film, Dr. Kristina Kudelko discusses whether pulmonary hypertension patients should exercise and the health benefits they may experience when they undertake an exercise regimen.

Pulmonary hypertension patients engaged in exercise training show range of improvements, a study finds.

Kudelko explains that for many years it was considered dangerous for anyone with pulmonary hypertension to exercise. However, now physicians recommend that PH patients enter monitored exercise programs to gain health benefits and increase their six-minute walking test. Pulmonary rehabilitation can be tailored to the patient’s exact needs and will take into consideration the ability of the patient and any other medical issues they may be dealing with.

Discover nine ways to help motivate you to exercise.

Pulmonary Hypertension News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

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  1. Beverly says:

    Then why don’t MORE cardiologists prescribe physical/cardio rehab? I found out I had PH by trying to get help with my exercise tolerance, but one cardiologist just wanted me to wear compression stockings and “keep your feet up”. The other wanted me to “go out jogging” in the ice, in the mountains at 72 years of age. When I objected then I got “then just turn on your TV and work out”. Some guidelines those are! I’ve lost 53 lbs so far, have been meticulous in every way to what has been suggested and prescribed, but exercise while highly touted just plain scares me now. I think that very often it’s not the patient. It’s the physicians, PA’s, nurses and others who are dropping the ball very badly. After one and a half years I still want an exercise program that makes sense and in which I can feel safe, especially in winter.

    • Tim Bossie says:

      We wish we could answer your question as to why aren’t there more rehab prescriptions, but we are in the same boat as you. We also wish there was more universal thought put into rehab and activity. That being said, there is also a lot of responsibility that the one who has this, and other diseases, in helping themselves. Great job on losing the weight! That is awesome… and very well done. Especially with PH.

  2. Richard Borden says:

    I have PAH 2ndary to hypoxia and apnea. I am half way through a monitored 12 week Pulmonary Rehab program that meets 3 days/wk. for an hour. It has made an amazing difference in my life. My stamina, tolerance for exercise, dyspnea, ALL have improved. My 6min walk increased by 67 feet almost a 10% improvement just at the halfway point. So far diet and exercise have been my only weapons and the fastest greatest improvement has come from exercise. Oxygen is the key LOTS of oxygen!!! When I work out I consume 10-12 L/min to keep my Sat’s above 90%.

  3. Karen Adler says:

    This article underscores the need for each PAH patient to be their best advocate. As a patient at a prestigious Boston hospital for 10 years, my “mystery” illness finally took me to Cleveland, OH where I was diagnosed with PH. Although I get great care in Cleveland, it’s largely been up to me to figure out what works best for me relative to the PH.

  4. Michele Medema says:

    My 12yr old just had her 6 minute walk and kept dropping into low 70% oxygen on the monitor. Its hard finding things she can do that won’t completely drain her. She has had PAH since birth along with a ASD, and Chronic Lung Disease. Lots of uphill battles

  5. Gina says:

    I am a advent runner and now diagnosed with PH i noticed it is getting hard to run. One doctor says to keep going, while another says to take it easy.I am so confused. I would think that running is going to cause more stress on the artery? The cardiologist says there is really nothing wrong with my heart see a pulmonary doc.
    I just feel like there are no answers out there for us. I just don’t know what to think, I am getting very depressed.
    I worry how long do I have, no one can answer that either. I know there are a lot of people out there living with it for a very long time, but how can we be sure.

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