Lung diseases and exercise

70% of respondents thought that those with lung diseases should not take part in any kind of exercise, not even gentle swimming or some targeted gym work. Physical activity can be beneficial in managing and also in improving symptoms of lung disease, such as breathlessness. Even patients with severe symptoms may benefit from exercise.

Lung transplant recipients who participated in a three-month structured exercise regime when they left hospital were found to have significantly superior quality of life and a lower chance of developing cardiovascular problems, compared to those who didn’t, Belgian researchers reported in the American Journal of Transplantation. (Link to article)

As we head toward the Olympic games, FIRS aims to use these latest data to educate people about the importance of getting their lungs tested, and becoming more physically active – both of which are vital for good respiratory health.

FIRS urges patients with lung diseases to talk to their doctors and other healthcare professionals about physical activity options. Data suggest that only 41% of patients ever discuss this with their doctors.

Asthma among athletes has been steadily increasing over the last 20 years. In the 2004 Olympics, 21% of the British team suffered from asthma, compared to 8% of the British population. A report published in the BMJ (British Medical Journal) found that many athletes with asthma are likely not using the best therapy for their condition and could be jeopardizing their long-term health. (Link to article)

Healthcare professionals worldwide will be on the streets to run public lung testing events on World Spirometry Day, and throughout the run-up to the Olympics in order to raise awareness of spirometry testing, which generally takes less than 10 minutes and is the most effective way of testing respiratory health.

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