Diet & Exercise Tips

If you’re living with chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH), it’s important to eat a balanced diet and maintain a healthy weight. While it may be difficult to stay active with your condition, under your doctor’s guidance you may be able to exercise more than you thought you could. 


The following tips can help you stay on track with your diet and incorporate some activity into your routine. These are only suggestions, so make sure to talk to your doctor about your diet and exercise plan.

Dietary Do's and Don'ts

Dietary Do's & Dont's


  • Eat foods rich in fiber (fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains)

  • Drink water, unsweetened tea, or coffee instead of sweetened drinks

  • Bake, broil, grill, or steam food

  • Pay attention to portion size, especially when eating out

  • Try eating smaller, more frequent meals with varied textures and flavors if your doctor has advised you to gain weight. Foods with healthy fats such as nuts or seeds, olive oil, eggs, or avocados can help you gain weight in a healthy way

  • Incorporate lean meats, poultry, or fish into your diet

Dietary Do's & Dont's


  • Eat too much sodium. Try to consume no more than a teaspoon of salt a day. Herbs and spices are a good salt substitute to season food

  • Eat fast food or cured meats (they're high in sodium)

  • Drink too many sugary beverages, such as soda or fruit juices

  • Fry foods in oil

  • Forget to ask your doctor about consuming vitamin K (too much vitamin K can interfere with blood thinners. Vitamin K is in food like kale, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, spinach, collard greens, and prunes)

Staying active

  • Start small with easy exercise, such as light walking

  • Over time, you may be able to increase how much and how hard you exercise. For instance, you may start walking longer distances or increase your pace

  • Consider adding light weight training to your routine

  • Avoid exercises where your whole body is in water, such as swimming

  • Your doctor may recommend a structured exercise program called pulmonary rehabilitation

  • Always talk to your doctor before making any changes in your exercise program or daily activity