Eating well, being active and being smokefree are key ingredients for a healthy life, and is also very important to reduce the symptoms or risk of respiratory disease.
Three inspiring Kiwis show that being healthy and keeping active is very beneficial for everyone, especially when living with a respiratory condition.
It’s the most fantastic feeling to know that something that used to have so much control over me doesn’t anymore. It’s the combination of swimming, cycling and running that’s made the biggest difference in my wellbeing,” says Alistair.
Emily Arps from Christchurch says “I have felt many respiratory benefits from improving my diet and increasing my level of exercise. I do daily chest physio, eat and sleep well and exercise at any opportunity. I do mountain biking, kayaking, and walk and bike everywhere,” says Emily, who has a unique condition that affects only one in four million.
Pauline Mohi from Christchurch who has chronic obstructive pulmonary disease says “Pulmonary rehabilitation has changed my life. It’s not that it’s easy to start off with, you’re so breathless you think, ‘This is crazy’. You just need to get past that point and keep persisting. I’m much healthier now, and can breathe a lot better than four years ago.”
New Zealand has one of the highest rates of respiratory disease in the world. However, it is not highly profiled and many people don’t realise the extent of the problem. Over 700,000 Kiwis have a respiratory condition, it’s the third leading cause of death and costs the country $5.5 billion each year.