For most Kiwis breathing is something we don’t think twice about. But for one-in-six living with a respiratory condition, being able to breathe properly is far from reality.
On 1 September the Asthma and Respiratory Foundation NZ will launch its annual respiratory awareness month in New Zealand. Breathe Better September is a national movement for Kiwis to show their support for better breathing and healthy lungs.
“Over 700,000 Kiwis have a respiratory condition, it’s the third leading cause of death and costs the country $6 billion each year,” says Letitia O’Dwyer, Chief Executive from the Asthma and Respiratory Foundation NZ.
This September the Foundation is calling for people to participate in the “healthy lungs challenge”. This involves taking up a challenge during September that works towards keeping lungs active and healthy.
Examples of challenges are setting a goal for exercise, meditation, eating healthy or quitting smoking. People can choose what will be a challenge for them, therefore being inclusive of everyone and their varying abilities.
Hayley Sims from Wellington will complete a challenge along with her dog Ferdi.
“Over the month of September we aim to run a total of 70km. Ferdi could run all day, but I am a bit out of practice, so this will be a great challenge for healthy lungs!” Says Sims.
Challenge participants sign up on the website everydayhero.com/nz, choose the Asthma and Respiratory Foundation NZ as their chosen charity, and once their challenge has been set encourage their friends and family to support them.
Respiratory disease includes asthma, bronchiectasis, bronchiolitis, pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), lung cancer and obstructive sleep apnoea.