One in six Kiwis live with an on-going respiratory condition, with 521,000 people regularly taking medication for asthma. All this month, the Asthma & Respiratory Foundation NZ has been running a campaign called Breathe Better September to raise awareness around respiratory disease, its causes and the everyday ways that we can improve lung health.
Physical activity expands lung capacity and increases blood flow. It also helps us to maintain a healthy weight – obesity can have serious effects on the lungs and breathing – so we asked Earthwise fans what steps they take to keep their lungs healthy.
Walking is the most popular way to get the fresh air and exercise – most people share this time with a close friend, their dog or both! Uphill routes to build strength, on the flat for distance and add friends for fun.
- “I love walking with a friend, children and dog up and down hills or on the flat, just walking breathing in the air!”
- “I have a wee schnauzer so love taking him walking, around the streets or on one of the various Bush walks around Dunedin. I also love crazy dancing around the house with my 15-month old.”
- “Trying to challenge my hubby to beat 10,000 steps each day.”
- “I do a lot of hikes with my little bub who I carry in a hiking backpack. We have such good fun in the outdoor and I get fit in the process!”
Swimming, dancing and yoga were also popular ways to keep active and healthy, although many fans get plenty of exercise going about their daily business – particularly those with young children and animals underfoot!
- “Running after four kids, calves (when I’m on feeding duties), running after four little lambs and house work keeps me busy! Having my inhalers on hand helps too.”
Other tips to prevent or reduce the effects of respiratory disease are: take steps to keep your home warm, dry and pollution-free, get a flu vaccination every March, take your medication exactly as prescribed and visit your GP regularly.
If you struggle with asthma and allergies, have a look at our fragrance-free range of laundry products.