How can I help myself?

There are various ways in which you can help yourself when living with ILD.

Adopt a healthy lifestyle

You will have heard the well known phrase “You are what you eat” so be aware of what you are eating and try to replace some of the “junk” in your diet with a more healthy alternative to provide a healthier balanced to your diet, in particular we can all do with increasing our intake of fruit and vegetables. These contain antioxidants which may be beneficial to your lungs as well as your general health. Try to keep your weight optimum, as you will feel more breathless if you are overweight.

Check out your BMI here ->


Take regular exercise

Regular exercise is important as it helps to maintain muscle strength, improves sleep and general well-being. But exercise can be difficult to do when you are breathless. Getting slightly short of breath when you exercise is safe, however you must stop if you feel dizzy or have chest pains.

Start with gentle walking around the house or garden on a regular basis. As you feel stronger, you can increase the distance that you walk. You may find it helpful to set yourself targets or discuss an exercise program with your doctor or physiotherapist.


Join a local singing group

Other exercise you can take part in is to join a local singing group. Many patients with lung conditions, and in particular ILD, have said that they have benefited from taking part in regular singing groups and we are fortunate to have one at St George’s hospital – Contact details below.

Lung Songs

When: Thursday 2.00pm – 3.15pm
Call: Jane Nolan, 020 8725 3016
Location: St George’s University Hospitals, Blackshaw Rd, Tooting, London SW17 0QT


Stop smoking

If you still smoking, the most important thing you can do is to stop. There are many resources available to help with smoking cessation. A good place to start is discussing this with you or GP or local pharmacist.

For more information please click here to visit the NSH Smokefree website.



People with lung disease are at an increased risk of infection. Having the seasonal flu vaccine may help to reduce your this risk. You should also check if your pneumonia vaccine is up to date. Your GP or hospital doctor will be able to advise.





(Page source: Action PF Charity)

Last updates on 26 September 2016