Taking steps to protect yourself against respiratory infections like influenza, pneumonia and COVID-19 is especially important if you have a lung disease. And this year it’s more important than ever with experts predicting that infection rates will soar. Vaccination is one of the most effective ways to keep yourself well. These vaccines help to reduce the severity of the viruses which can cause complications with your current condition and make you more susceptible to other illnesses. Speak with your GP today about scheduling your vaccinations to ensure they’re updated to provide you the most protection this winter.
Make a plan with your GP
Preparation is key to staying as well as possible during the winter months and beyond. Now is a great time to make an appointment with your GP to ensure your medications and vaccinations are up to date, and that you have an action plan in place.
When developed with your doctor, an action plan helps you to identify what to do if you experience a flare up in your condition. Flare ups are when your symptoms worsen and if they’re not treated early, they can cause long-term damage to your lungs. You’re more likely to experience a flare up during winter because nasty bugs and viruses are common. Download a COPD or bronchiectasis action plan template and complete it with your GP.
Maintain healthy habits
The importance of a balanced diet and regular exercise is no secret but keeping up with your regular routine can be tricky as the days get shorter and colder. Completing pulmonary rehabilitation and joining a Lungs in Action class can help you learn how to safely exercise with a lung condition and keep you motivated. You can find locations and classes here. If there isn’t one near you, speak to your GP about a referral to an exercise specialist, like an exercise physiologist, who can help you create a tailored program. For more information, reach out to our team on 1800 654 301.
You can also find a range of helpful resources including at-home exercise videos and goal-setting tools, here.
The food you eat fuels you with the nutrients and energy you need to breathe. Healthy eating doesn’t have to be complicated – choosing nutritious and easy to prepare snacks and meals that only need a few ingredients can help to keep prep time short and you nourished.
Take care of your mental wellbeing
Dedicating time to looking after your mental health and emotional wellbeing is just as important as your physical health – in fact the two can impact one another. Simple daily practices of self-care can make all the difference. We have a suite of online resources to help you navigate the unique challenges of living with a lung disease or caring for someone who is. Visit our Mind Matters hub, here.
Connect to care
Understanding your condition and how to manage it can make all the difference. Lung Foundation Australia’s Information and Support Centre team are available to provide trusted guidance and practical tips, and to connect you with resources and support services to help you live well with lung disease or lung cancer. You can reach our team during business hours via free call 1800 654 301 or book a call below.