Sheffield woman beats asthma with exercise

Tracy Hulbert in the gym
Tracy Hulbert in the gym

Her health, her work, and every aspect of her life has changed for the better for asthma sufferer Tracy Hulbert, since she joined a special exercise programme.

The 46-year old from Stocksbridge has shed over three stone by using diet and exercise to help her manage her condition, which she has had for 10 years.

Prior to joining a 12-week programme of low-impact physical activity at Hillsborough Leisure Centre, that her doctor referred her to, Tracy was struggling to work as a carer, and complete every day tasks without becoming breathless.

Tracy said: “I was not in a good state of health. I was overweight, depressed, anxious and suffered regular chest infections which took weeks to clear up. I would end up in A and E around eight times a year.

“About three years ago, my counsellor mentioned the Breathwell pulmonary class at Hillsborough and I was referred for a 12-week exercise programme.”

Tracy joined the weekly class run by specialist instructor, Lynn Hird, and has attended ever since.

Supported by a Slimming World diet, she has lost more than three stone in weight and her mental health has improved along with the physical benefits.

She added: “The classes are fantastic and Lynn is so supportive and motivating. In a typical session, we do cycling, boxing, step ups, wall presses, knee raises, weights and walking.

“It was hard work at first – the last thing you want to do with asthma is get out of breath. But I kept going, listening to Lynn’s advice, and I feel so much better. I’ve made lots of new friends though the sessions too.

“I now weigh ten stone six – just 13 pounds off my target weight. I’ve had fewer chest infections and when I do get them, the recovery time is much quicker.”

Instructor Lynn Hird said: “Tracy’s breathing, fitness levels and condition have improved massively by attending sessions, and her confidence has grown.

I’m incredibly proud of her and it’s fantastic to see the positive impact we’ve had on all areas of Tracy’s life.”

SIV is part of the not-for-profit Sheffield City Trust

The Trust’s primary objective is to improve the health and wellbeing of Sheffield people by providing facilities for sport and leisure activities.

Its Exercise Referral Scheme uses physical activity to help people manage conditions including coronary heart disease, muscular skeletal diseases and respiratory illnesses.

In the last 10 years, more than 15,000 patients referred from 107 GP surgeries have overcome health problems after taking part in the scheme.

The Exercise Referral Scheme has expanded over a decade across five venues in Sheffield, and now operates in two city GP surgeries.

Visit Exercise Referral Scheme