“I go swimming because it makes me feel happier and more energetic.”

By Jennie, 33, from Anfield, Liverpool

After Jennie was diagnosed Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), she decided to start being more active to help improve her symptoms. 

Her journey began with her local pulmonary rehabilitation course, known locally as Breathe. This course includes specially designed classes that give people with similar health conditions a safe place to be more active and learn more about managing their condition.

Understandably, Jennie had been quite nervous about being active following her diagnosis but this class helped her understand how being active could not only be safe, but also help to reduce her symptoms.

Jennie enjoyed the classes and started regularly doing the breathing exercises she’d been taught at home in order to reduce her symptoms. She then started to combine this with jogging, which left her feeling stronger and fitter.

Swimming was the ideal fit for Jennie though, it’s something that she enjoys doing, makes her feel better and it’s boosted her confidence too. Jennie has gone from strength to strength and now takes part in activities three times a week to help her feel fitter, which has really helped her to breathe more easily, feel stronger and better about herself.

Jennie’s advice:

“When you’re diagnosed with a long term condition like COPD, it can be easy to think that you might be limited in what physical activity you can do.    Attending my local Breathe group at Liverpool Heart and Chest hospital helped me to realise how taking part in activity could make me feel so much better. It really improved my mood and energy levels.   I’d really encourage everyone, not just people living with long-term conditions, to increase the amount of activity they do. It will improve their lifestyle and help keep them healthy.”