Love Your Lungs this Summer

Patients living with respiratory conditions have joined forces with the NHS to launch a campaign encouraging people with lung and breathing problems to keep active this summer.

‘Love Your Lungs’, which launches today (6/7), will feature a number of short videos and health tips across social media channels and other advertising platforms, using the hashtag #LoveYourLungs.

The 12-week campaign will show how staying healthy and trying gentle exercise to look after your lungs, whatever the weather, will help people feel better, sustain respiratory health and help them stay out of hospital.

Top tips to #LoveYourLungs this summer:

  • Enjoy the great outdoors
  • Drink more water during summer months
  • Exercise regularly to improve your sleep pattern
  • Activity with a friend or in a group makes it more enjoyable
  • Don’t forget the sun cream

About 10,000 people in the UK are newly-diagnosed with a lung disease every week and somebody dies from a lung disease in the UK every 5 minutes. Self-care and where possible support classes for those in need, are therefore really important in helping to manage lung conditions.

Dr Richard Russell, clinical lead for the South East Respiratory Network, said: “Exercise not only helps manage breathlessness, but it’s also good for helping your body stay fit and healthy for you to do the things that you want to do.

“Our campaign captures real-life stories of those living with respiratory conditions daily, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), who have told us that becoming fitter has helped them be more active while making their symptoms like breathing easier to manage.

“These patients have built up strength and fitness either themselves or by taking part in Pulmonary Rehabilitation – an exercise and education programme designed for people with lung disease who experience symptoms of breathlessness.

“We hope these personal accounts, along with clinical advice, will encourage others with similar health conditions to keep moving this summer so that they are stronger for the winter months.

Don Hart, a respiratory patient who features as part of the campaign, said: “You can sit there all-day watching TV. I used to sit there sometimes for six hours. I knew I had to get up and do something, so I started going to the shops, just to force myself to go out and get some exercise.”

Cheng Wood, who also shares her personal journey as part of the campaign, said: “I play tennis, I belong to a gym. I swim. I do all kinds of things to be fit.”

If you have a lung condition which causes your ability to be affected by breathing difficulties, then you may be eligible for Pulmonary Rehabilitation on the NHS. Your GP, practice nurse or respiratory team can refer you if it is right for you and dependant on what is available in your area. Some programmes may have waiting lists.