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Living with a chest condition

If you’re living with a chest condition, life can look a little different. Managing your condition can mean changing the way you work, exercise and socialise, and impact how you prioritise your days.
But with the right support and resources, you can live life to the full and get back to doing the things you love – and we’re here to help you do just that!

Managing chest condition symptoms

It’s really important to know how to manage your condition well so you can keep your symptoms under control. If you have been given medication, breathing exercises or equipment by your doctor, it’s vital to follow the instructions carefully.
Keep an eye out for things that can trigger your symptoms and cause a flare-up. You might even find it helpful to keep a diary to keep track of things that make your symptoms worse, so you know how to avoid them in future.
Take a look at our Common Chest Conditions page to find out more about your condition and how you can manage your symptoms.

Common Chest Conditions

Live a healthier life

Adopting a healthier lifestyle can seem like a daunting challenge but it doesn’t have to be! As tempting as it may be to take on big, impressive challenges, you’ll find that gradual, small changes lead to sustainable long-term lifestyle improvements.
By living a healthier life, you’ll help to control your day-to-day symptoms while also reducing your risk of developing a future chest condition.
To find more tips and information, visit our Living Well section.
Living Well

Some small changes that you can start today:

  • If you are a smoker, consider cutting down smoking with an eventual goal of giving up entirely.
  • Make sure that you walk every day. Ideally for at least 30 minutes but if you don’t feel up to that, just a walk around the block is good for your brain and body.
  • Eat a more balanced diet and try to integrate greens wherever possible. Whether this means having spinach with your eggs at breakfast or broccoli with your evening meal, greens have great health benefits.
  • Limit your alcohol consumption to the recommended amount of 14 units per week, or less if you can.

How can Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland help you?

At Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland, we’re committed to supporting people with chest conditions, making sure you can live life to the full. We know that chronic conditions can feel impossible to navigate and incredibly lonely at times and, with this in mind, we’ve worked to ensure that your road ahead is one you don’t feel that you’re walking alone.
To find out more about the services we offer, access support and learn more about how to manage your condition, get in touch with our Advice Line nurses for free, confidential support. You can also download Your Chest Toolkit, a range of resources and information to help you live well at home.

“It’s definitely helped with my condition”

Just ask Agnes

Agnes, 65, from Inverness has bronchiectasis and attends one of our exercise and support groups, the Cheerful Chesters.

“It’s definitely helped with my condition and it’s just generally what keeps me going just now. We all have a good laugh at the quiz too and the variety of chair exercises means that everyone can get involved.

“Everyone is in the same boat, and no one is looking at you are thinking you can’t do this or feels worried about what others think. We’re all there for each other and we go at our own pace.

“Lung conditions can make you feel self-conscious, and you can only do exercises for so long but none of that matters in our Zoom groups.”

Read Agnes’ story

Chest condition support groups

Join one of our 140+ affiliated Peer Support Groups across Scotland to get support, socialise and meet people who understand what you’re going through.
Whether you’re looking for weekly or monthly support, big groups or small, our groups can pair you with people who are experiencing your condition. You’ll also be able to find out more about your condition, get tips for managing your symptoms and enjoy activities that work for you.

Find your local group

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