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Portsmouth residents breathe easier with new exercise class

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Mountbatten Leisure Centre Group shot 4 web

BH Live has teamed up with Breathe Easy Southsea Support Group to roll-out a new exercise class for Portsmouth residents living with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

COPD is a collective term for progressive lung diseases including emphysema, chronic bronchitis and refractory (non-reversible) asthma. It is estimated that 1.2 million† people in the UK are living with diagnosed COPD and 19,000†† of those are in Hampshire.

It is a common condition that typically affects middle-aged or older adults who smoke. Breathing problems associated with COPD have a tendency to worsen over time and normal activities can become difficult.

While COPD can’t be cured, medical and lifestyle interventions can help keep the symptoms under control. These include medication, healthy eating, stopping smoking and Pulmonary rehabilitation – an exercise and education programme.

Sponsored by Portsmouth Lottery, the new exercise class will take place at Mountbatten Leisure Centre and be delivered by BH Live’s exercise referral team. It has been created to help COPD patients take positive steps towards slowing the development of their condition and control symptoms. Breathe Easy was awarded £1,560.00 last year by the Portsmouth Lottery to provide exercise sessions for people with COPD.

A COPD Class at Mountbatten Leisure Centre web

Paul Lipscombe, Chairman of Breathe Easy Southsea Support Group added, “Living with a condition associated with COPD can be a very lonely and isolating experience with many people afraid to leave the security of the home environment. By bringing activities into the community, and in a friendly setting, we aim to break down those barriers and encourage more people to take part. On a personal note, being more active has increased my own lung capacity by 2%. This has spurred me on to emphatically endorse exercise as part of a COPD treatment programme and throw our support behind this scheme.”

Emma George, BH Live’s exercise referral instructor will be running the class. She said, “Being more active is proven to improve the quality of life for those living with COPD. For us, helping more local residents feel better through exercise is what we are all about and we are so pleased to be introducing this class in conjunction with our partners.”

Classes will run at Mountbatten Leisure Centre on Tuesdays from 20 February 2018 between 10am-11am. It will cost participants £3 per person per session.

People who could benefit from the exercise programme will need to be referred onto the classes by their health practitioner, such as a GP, physiotherapist or COPD nurse, on completion of a NHS pulmonary rehabilitation programme.

B Copyright BH Live Mountbatten Leisure Centre web

Steven Wibberley, chief operating officer, for the British Lung Foundation, said, “If you’ve been inactive for a while due to a lung condition, exercising can sometimes seem like a mammoth task, but it’s vital. By increasing your fitness and strengthening your muscles, you’ll get less out of breath doing everyday activities like going shopping or climbing the stairs. You may even re-discover activities you thought you could no longer do.”

Cllr Linda Symes, Portsmouth City Council’s Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Sport, said: "These exercise classes will be really beneficial to residents with COPD. The classes are also a great way to meet new people and make new friendships which has a huge benefit to people's social lives and wellbeing. It's great to see the money generated by the Portsmouth Lottery being invested into something so valuable."

Find out more about the class by contacting BH Live’s exercise referral team at Mountbatten on telephone 02393 200358 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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