How we can help ourselves by exercising

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Chris Staples from the Gosport and Fareham Breathe Easy group is encouraging people to get active

Support for the Gosport and Fareham Breathe Easy group continues to grow among sufferers and clinicians.

Mal North, lead nurse for the Trooper study, spoke at a previous meeting about this and other ways of being more self supportive at home.

Being self ­supportive does not mean NOT seeing your GP/respiratory nurse,it means working with them.

It is the time of year to be booking flu and pneumonia jabs, so why not ask about pulmonary rehab courses as well? These are a series of controlled exercises over a six-­week period run by physiotherapists which your GP can refer you to.

The exercises are designed so that anyone can do them and the physiotherapists tailor them to individual needs and constantly monitor during the activity. Some of you will automatically say you can’t do exercises, but can you go up and down on tiptoe while the kettle is boiling?

You can use the worktop as a support if you want. Just a minute of this will help.

Try standing,looking up to the ceiling then gently down to the ground for a few times. This is part of the warm up activity the groups use.

Any sufferer can ask to go on the programme, smoker or non­-smoker, no­-one is barred, but of course it would not be expected for smokers to go out for a cigarette during the hour-long session.

The exercises will not cure but could help a person cope a little better during the more adverse weather conditions and in a group situation with others with similar problems, there are many other benefits besides just the medical side.

The physiotherapists are very dedicated and conscientious and provide a weekly contact for any worries/concerns, advising and directing a person to relevant sources if necessary.

The Breathe Easy meetings provide a meeting point for sufferers, carers and those who are worried about someone with breathing problems along with various clinicians who may be able to help and advise or put your mind at rest.

At our last meeting, Jo the nutritionist, gave an excellent talk to both patients and carers.

Jess Williams, Senior Respiratory Research nurse also gave a presentation about how researchers at QA are now seeking patient input to direct their work with research fellows from the hospital and clinicians.We anticipate our group will be fully involved in this innovative approach.

Our next meeting will be on Thursday, November 5. Everyone is welcome.