Jo Pavey encourages asthmatics to take control of condition through exercise

Team GB athlete Jo Pavey has advocated the benefits regular exercise can have on tackling asthma.

An estimated 5.4 million people in the UK currently receive treatment for the respiratory condition, which claims the lives of three people daily.

Five-time Olympian and asthma sufferer, Pavey, has not let the condition hold her back from competing on the track for Great Britain.

The 45-year-old, who wants to participate at Tokyo 2020, has won World, European and Commonwealth medals in the 10,000m and 5,000m, and has championed the impact exercise can play in helping improve the everyday lives of asthmatics.

“There’s an activity for everyone with asthma, that could be as simple as a slow walk to begin with,” Pavey said.

“Some asthmatics may not have the confidence to go for a long walk or a light jog but with the right advice, correct controlling of the asthma and gradually building it up, the improvements someone with asthma can get with their lung function is massive and they won’t regret it.”

With the severity of asthma, and the triggers of attacks, unique to each individual, Pavey has stressed that exercise must be undertaken in incremental steps.

“I feel passionate about encouraging people as long as it’s done in the right way,” she added. “Be realistic with your goals but know they can always change.

“Start off with small goals that are going to be difficult to obtain. Have tiny goals en-route to the main goal and if you are pleasantly surprised you can set yourself a new goal.

“If you’ve got a goal to aim for, the motivation and reason to get out of the door is massive.

“You’re reaching your goals with the activity, whatever it may be, but the benefits it will give you for the rest of your everyday life are untold.

“With greater lung function you may be able to deal with the triggers of asthma, such as allergies.”

Jo Pavey was speaking to Novartis Asthma as part of their Action Against Asthma campaign. Watch the full interview here.

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