Life Leisure exercise classes in Stockport are helping people with lung problems. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease – or COPD – is the second highest risk medical condition behind liver disease in the region.
Stockport NHS expects a 10% in cases from 2010–2020 with over 3,000 people dying each year of COPD in the north west.
Regular exercise benefits people suffering from the condition and there are special COPD classes at St Peter’s Church in Hazel Grove and the Lapwing Centre in Brinnington.
Roy Vaughan, pictured with instructor Dave McGlinchey, is one of the people who attends the weekly hour-long class in Hazel Grove.
The class lasts for an hour and is a mix of gentle activity with plenty of social interaction with fellow COPD sufferers and attracts 15-20 members a week.
Roy said: “The classes have given me a new lease of life. I love how much better it makes me feel and how much more I can now do, even climbing stairs used to be struggle.
“It’s great to be with other like-minded people who all share the same objective and purpose which is just to feel better and get a bit fitter.
“I really do enjoy the company and working with someone who is as knowledgeable as Dave, who helps us to exercise and gives us the confidence we need. He genuinely cares and we all have a lot of respect for what he and Life Leisure are doing.”
People can access the classes through the Physical Activity Referral in Stockport (PARiS) – a GP exercise referral scheme designed to help patients stay more physically active, whilst benefiting and or improving their health.
Dave McGlinchey, who is a Life Leisure PARiS officer, added: “Many people think that if they have COPD the last thing they should be doing is exercising, but it really helps.
“Feeling breathless can cause anxiety so people stop, they do less, then their muscles get weaker and it makes them even more breathless.
“Exercise, done correctly and safely, is one of the best things you can do to improve your breathing, increase your levels of oxygen and strengthen muscles. “
How to get involved
Life Leisure run COPD classes at the Lapwing Centre in Brinnington each Friday from 11am-12pm and each Tuesday at St Peter’s Church, Green Lane, Hazel Grove from 10.30am-11.30am.
If you have COPD, then please speak to your GP or practice nurse and ask for a referral to the PARiS scheme.
For more information about Life Leisure and the COPD classes, visit the Life Leisure website or call on 0161 482 0900.