Fitness for Breath

“My breathing is much better. I have noticed a real difference since starting the Fitness for Breath class.”
– Fitness for Breath participant

People living with chronic lung disease are caught in a difficult cycle – cardiovascular exercise is essential for strengthening their lungs, yet at the same time, lung disease often prevents them from participating in regular fitness programs.

To help solve this challenge, the Lung Health Foundation has developed and implemented an innovative model for exercise maintenance for people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), as well as other chronic lung diseases such as severe asthma and pulmonary fibrosis. In partnership with fitness centres and with the support of pulmonary rehabilitation programs, it has been introduced across the province.

What is Fitness for Breath?

Fitness for Breath is a respiratory exercise maintenance program designed as post-rehabilitation. It is not intended to replace rehabilitation, but instead provide a resource to continue your exercise routine. In the Fitness for Breath program, participants learn the importance of staying active for life and the health benefits of exercise.

The Goals of Fitness for Breath

  • Encourage an inactive population to become active for life
  • Improve participants’ activity and daily function
  • Improve physical literacy and fundamental movement skills
  • Provide an accessible and safe exercise environment, and
  • Strengthen the community recreation sector.
Fitness for Breath engages older adults and seniors with chronic lung disease in regular physical activity to motivate them to maintain an active lifestyle, help to manage their lung disease and to continue the gains received from their participation in pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) programs. For people with chronic lung disease like COPD, regular exercise results in fewer flare-ups and hospitalizations and a better overall quality of life.


This section contains two e-learning modules and two presentations that have been designed to assist with lung disease (COPD) education, setting up new Fitness for Breath program sites and lung health support groups and creating suitable at-home exercise programs for people living with lung disease.

At home Fitness for Breath workout

We have two wonderful Fitness For Breath workout videos that you can follow along with at home. We’re currently in the process of adding more so please subscribe to our YouTube channel for more.

Get involved with our trainer course

​The purpose of this course is to assist fitness trainers in planning and implementing their Fitness for Breath exercise maintenance program for participants living with a chronic lung disease. It is intended for

Fitness Trainer – Lung Health 101 Basic Training

To provide an online “lung health 101” training and educate trainers on chronic lung disease (specifically COPD)

Fitness for Breath locations

Classes are supervised by qualified and trained fitness staff at each Fitness for Breath program location. They are designed to work with people at any fitness level and ability. Classes are offered a minimum of twice a week and are at least 60 minutes in length. The class components may include the following:

  • Aerobic exercises
  • Resistance / strength training
  • Flexibility exercises.

Bradford West Gwillimbury Leisure Centre
471 West Park Ave., Bradford, ON
L3Z 0J3
Phone: (905) 775-7529

YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka (Barrie Location)
22 Grove Street, West Barrie, ON
L4N 1M7
Phone: (705) 726-6421

YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka (Innisfil Location)
1-7315 Yonge Street, Innisfil, Ontario
L4N 4V7
Phone: (705) 431-9622

YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka (Gravenhurst Location)
1-101 Centennial Drive, Gravenhurst, ON
P1P 1B7
Phone: (705) 687-9899

Abilities Centre
55 Gordon St. Whitby, ON
L1N 0J2
Phone: (905) 665-8500

Town of Newmarket – Magna Centre
800 Mulock Drive Newmarket, Ontario
L3Y 9C1
Phone: (905) 895-5193

Town of Bracebridge
110 Clearbrook Trail
Bracebridge, ON P1L 0A3
Phone: 705-645-1921

Collingwood YMCA
200 Hume Street
Collingwood ON L9Y 4E8
Phone: 705-445-5705

Wasaga Beach YMCA
1724 Mosley St.
Wasaga Beach ON L9Z 1Z7
Phone: 705-429-9622

Sault College
443 Northern Avenue
Sault Ste. Marie, ON P6B 4J3
Phone: 705-759-2554

Corporation of the City of Thunder Bay
Recreation & Culture Division
Canada Games Complex
420 Winnipeg Ave
Thunder Bay, ON P7B 6B7
Phone: 807-684-3338

YMCA of Central East Ontario (Belleville Branch)
433 Victoria Ave., Belleville, ON
K8N 2G1
Phone: (613) 966-9622

YMCA of Central East Ontario (Peterborough Branch)
123 Aylmer Street South, Peterborough, Ontario
K9J 3H8
Phone: (705) 748-9622

YMCA Northumberland, Cobourg
339 Elgin St West
Cobourg, ON K9A 5T4
Phone: (905) 372-0161

Erin Fitness
6 Thompson Crescent, Erin, ON N0B 1T0
Phone: 519-833-0606

Six Nations
White Pines Wellness Centre
1745 Chiefswood Rd, 1st Floor
Ohsweken, ON N0A 1M0
Phone: 519-445-4779

Chatham-Kent YMCA
101 Courthouse Lane, Chatham, ON
N7L 0B5
Phone: (519) 360-9622

YMCAs of Cambridge and Kitchener-Waterloo
(Kitchener Branch)
A.R. Kaufman Family YMCA
333 Carwood Ave.
Kitchener, Ontario
N2G 3C5
Phone: (519) 743-5201

YMCAs of Cambridge and Kitchener-Waterloo
(Cambridge Branch)
Chaplin Family YMCA
250 Hespeler Rd.
Cambridge, Ontario
N1R 3H3
Phone: (519) 623-9622

Stratford-Perth Family YMCA
204 Downie St, Stratford, ON
N5A 1X4
Phone: (519) 271-0480

St. Joseph’s Villa
56 Governor’s Road, Dundas, ON
L9H 5G7
Phone: (905) 627-3541, ext. 2109

You make the difference.

Your support makes our programs, like fitness for breath, possible. We cannot complete our work without compassionate donors like you.