PYB Health Hero Series: How Exercise Controlled my Asthma!

PYB Health Hero Series: How Exercise Controlled my Asthma!

Bridgend is a great community and we want to share local stories about our ‘PYB Health Heros’. Those who have made lifestyle changes which have had a positive impact on their own health and wellbeing. And those, who encourage others to join in and make a difference to their own lives too.

In this edition of our PYB Health Heroes we will be talking to Kerry-Lynne, a cancer charity Communications Manager and mother of two who lives in Coity. Kerry-Lynne was diagnosed with Asthma in her early 20s and enjoys yoga, walks and now running. She dramatically reduced the need for steriods and antibiotics to control her Asthma through taking up running. Well done Kerry-Lynne. Read her interview here…

1. Why do you feel it’s important to share your story?

To let people know that small changes can really help.

2. What did you do to change your health and wellbeing?

In June 2017, I joined running club the Pencoed Panthers to start their couch to 5K beginners’ session. I hadn’t run since becoming pregnant with my first child in 2011 and wanted to get fitter.

Since 2013, I’d been having problems with my asthma that meant I had to have steroid tablets and antibiotics four to five times a year. Every time it happened it wiped me out and took weeks to recover. It was really horrible, especially when I struggled to get out and about with the children.

I joined the Panthers following a particularly bad episode in April/May 2017 and since then I’ve only needed steroid tablets and antibiotics for my asthma once, a huge change to my four or five episodes a year beforehand.

3. Did you get any specific support from groups or organisations in the Bridgend area?

The Pencoed Panthers were brilliant to me. In the first session, I struggled to run to a lamp post but they were so encouraging. We covered about two miles at a gentle pace mixing short runs with walks.

Within six weeks I was really enjoying running and doing 5K fairly comfortably and three months after I joined I ran the Swansea Bay 10K for charity, seven years after my last 10K.

I was determined to keep running and this year I did lots of local runs, the Barry Island 10K before doing my first half marathon – the Cardiff Half – for the Stroke Association in October.

4. Why was it so important that you made these changes?

The regular problems with my asthma were really upsetting and frustrating. The last bout before joining the running club meant we almost missed our family holiday as I was so unwell. As I recovered from that I knew something had to change.

5. What do you like to do to keep fit and healthy now?

I still run with the Panthers, I do a weekly yoga class and also go to the gym. As I mainly work in an office, I try to get out for a walk at lunchtime whenever I can and use a fitness tracker to keep an eye on my steps.

6. How is your life different now since you made the positive changes?

My asthma is far more well-controlled and is less intrusive on my life. I saw my GP recently and he said what a good example I was of how running can help asthma, which felt good.

My children now enjoy running and loved cheering me on at the half marathon. My daughter says she wants to run like me when she’s older, so it’s nice to think I’m setting a good example for them.

7. What is the best thing about living in Bridgend in your opinion?

The outdoors. We have so many lovely places to walk and visit from Southerndown and Ogmore by Sea to Bryngarw Park and Porthcawl. I love it here.

8. What would you say to anyone thinking of getting fit or improving their health and wellbeing this year?

Give it a try. It can be scary, but doing something small can really add up. I’m not a fast runner by any means, but getting into running has made a huge difference to me.

Read more about local running opportunities here. If you have a ‘PYB Health Hero’ story to share of someone in our Bridgend community who has made a difference to their health and wellbeing email us, we would love to share their story.