August 1, 2015

Walking the Bridge to Good Health with Lungs in Action

Emma Gainer, Program Manager, Pulmonary Rehabilitation and Lungs in Action, Lung Foundation Australia

When Joy, Secretary of the LungNet Southern Highlands Patient Support Group located in Bowral, contacted Lung Foundation Australia seeking support to start a Lungs in Action program in 2013, she didn’t imagine that it would become a successful program only a couple of years later!

Prior to 2013, Bowral residents who completed pulmonary rehabilitation didn’t have an ongoing community-based exercise program they could attend. This made it hard for them to keep their functional gains at a high level and continue to do the things they love.

After engaging in some regular exercise herself with an exercise physiologist, Joy experienced first-hand how important exercise is to keep well and realised this is what the local Bowral community and the Support Group were missing.

Standing by Joy and the Support Group’s goal, was the local pulmonary rehabilitation program who supported this initiative by providing mentoring and specialised training to local accredited exercise physiologist, Belinda Dowton. She is now running the only service of its kind in Bowral, and is the “go to” exercise professional for those who have completed pulmonary and/or heart failure rehabilitation.

Due to the Support Group’s motivation and the pulmonary rehabilitation program encouraging graduates to get involved, the Bowral Lungs in Action class is now running at full capacity. There is even the prospect of an additional class to meet the demand of growing numbers.

Below are quotes from some of the class members:

“This program is brilliant. Not only does it improve your health, but also your well-being.”
Mary, 62 years

“This program keeps us motivated. Exercising with others with the same type of problem makes you feel comfortable and supported, you don’t have to feel embarrassed when you cough.”
Diana, 68 years

“I chose to be fit, not frail and this program has helped me to do that.”
Rosina, 78 years

If you are interested in joining the Bowral Lungs in Action class please call Belinda on 0429 149 847.

For further information on Lungs in Action classes, or to learn how a program like this can
be established in your community visit or call 1800 654 301.