Walking helped me get fitter, feel happier and breathe easier!

After retiring, Lesley struggled to stay active as her breathing capacity worsened. But thanks to encouragement from the BLF, she has found a great new walking club that is helping her to breathe easier.

I was diagnosed with COPD about 6 years ago and my health has steadily deteriorated since then. I retired from my very active job as a civil servant 4 years ago and was initially quite active but as my breathing capacity declined so did my activity.

Finding encouragement

Around 9 months ago I came across the BLF’s Active Steps programme and thought I'd give it a whirl. I was put in contact with Claire from the team, who was brilliant, easy to talk to, very supportive, understanding and full of ideas and suggestions to move me forward.

Initially I tried exercising at home using videos on YouTube, plus exercises sent to me by the BLF team. But I lacked the motivation and focus  then a friend suggested taking part in 'This Girl Walks' a virtual walking club founded by Sally Nicholson to get people active during the COVID lockdown.

Setting myself a challenge

I had some trepidation to begin with but with Claire's support and encouragement I set myself a challenge of walking 50K in July and by the end of that month I'd completed 104K! I also walked over 100K in August and September and am halfway there for October already.

This Girl Walks has a lovely group of ladies all over the UK taking part and supporting one another and post lovely photographs of their walks plus there is a bonus of a lovely t-shirt at the end of each month.

I can breathe!

Had Claire from Active Steps not been there to encourage me when I was struggling with lockdown I probably would not have joined my walking club and would still be inactive, unfit and overweight. I am now slimmer, fitter and happier. And most importantly, I can breathe! It doesn't come any better than that.


The Active Steps programme has now come to end, but support is still there to help you become more active in your everyday life. Take a look at our online exercise videos and download our free exercise handbook for activities you can do at home.

Plus, you can read more about keeping active with a lung condition and download a 12 week activity diary to keep you motivated.


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10 November 2020