Seven patients with cystic fibrosis aged 6 to 20 were enrolled for 30 months in a daily exercise program. After 12 months conventional chest physiotherapy was withdrawn. Patients with low initial Shwachman scores improved as regards maximal working capacity. Spirometric data and volume of trapped gas indicated opening of closed airways. We suggest that physical exercise in general should be the basis of pulmonary therapy in cystic fibrosis. Other forms of physiotherapy are advisable when hard physical exercise is not feasible.