The British Lung Foundation is dedicated to improving the lives of the millions of people in the UK living with lung conditions; funding research to prevent, treat and cure lung disease, providing vital support services for those living with a lung condition and campaigning for cleaner air and better services.
Together with them, we will make sure that one day everyone will breathe clean air with healthy lungs.
This summer you can support those with lung conditions by taking part in the British Lung Foundations’ Take Steps Challenge.
What is the British Lung Foundation’s Take Steps Challenge?
Take Steps is a virtual walking challenge that helps to support the British Lung Foundation’s work, research and campaigns. The idea is simple – walk any distance you can, when and wherever you want, and save lives. It could be laps of your garden, flights of your stairs or hikes at the weekend – it all counts!
The challenge takes place during June 2021, however you can sign up and start fundraising right away.
How can you get involved with the Take Steps Challenge?
Getting involved in the Take Steps Challenge is easy. Find everything you need on the website here. You can take part either as an individual or as a team with friends, family or colleagues.
This year the Take Steps Challenge will be taking place ‘virtually’ so you can stay Coronavirus safe by completing walks either by yourself or socially distanced with friends. For advice on how to complete the challenge safely the British Lung Foundation has created an FAQ covering the latest recommendations.
To get started with the Take Steps Challenge, follow these four simple steps.
- Register – Join the Take Steps website and set up your fundraising page. Here you’ll also be able to set up a team.
- Track your progress – Link your Strava or Fitbit fitness app to your Take Steps account to record your walks. You can also enter your walks on your Take Steps account manually if you prefer.
- Fundraise – Share your challenge with friends, families, and colleagues to start raising money for the British Lung Foundation.
- Connect – Join the Take Steps Facebook community to connect with others and share your achievements!
On the Take Steps website you’ll also be able to unlock virtual badges, track your progress, and see where you’re at on the leader boards for who has raised the most and walked the furthest.
You can become a Clean Air Champion too by completing the 3 new Clean Air Action Badges – make an impact this June!
Get inspired by Take Step Stories
Read the stories of some of those who have completed previous Take Step Challenges and get inspired for your own.
Cara celebrated her grandad’s memory after he passed away from Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
“My grandad was absolutely amazing. We all miss him so much. That’s why I organised a Take Steps sponsored walk in memory of him, together with loads of friends and family.
I knew I wanted to do something to remember him but until I got a letter about Take Steps through the post I didn’t know what. Then I thought, I can do walking! Walking’s easy!
The day itself was incredible. We got our grandad’s face printed on the back of some t-shirts, so everyone knew why we were doing it. It was such a great atmosphere. And not only did we get to remember my grandad, and have a great day out – we also raised a fantastic amount to help others with lung disease!”
Ron believes we can find a cure to Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis
“One of my mottos is that you learn to live with IPF (Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis), you don’t die with IPF.
Before I had IPF I was really active – I even did triathlons! But now, I’m constantly out of breath. I hope that by raising this money with my sponsored Take Steps walk, we will be just a little bit closer to finding a cure. Family members and others from my IPF support group will join me, and my wife will also be carrying my oxygen bottles as I walk. Having such good support really makes a difference.
I want to show what can be achieved in the face of such a devastating illness like IPF.”
Why NiQuitin supports the British Lung Foundation’s Take Steps Challenge
At NiQuitin we often talk about the importance of quitting smoking for a healthy body. Giving up smoking is a great way to reduce damage to your lungs. However, another major cause of lung damage that’s talked about less is air pollution.
Air pollution in the most polluted areas can be as deadly as smoking over 150 cigarettes each year2.
This year, NiQuitin has partnered with the BLF to help tackle air pollution in the UK. We are proud to support the Take Steps challenge as part of our year-long partnership.
How to keep your lungs healthy
If you’re interested in the Take Steps Challenge you may be wondering why the British Lung Foundation’s work is so important?
The answer is healthy lungs are an essential part of our overall health. We may not always immediately think of our lungs when we think about our health. But developing a lung condition can mean people become breathless or struggle to breathe, and many lung conditions can be fatal. There are lots of great ways to keep our lungs healthy, most importantly being a non-smoker. Keeping active and trying to minimise your exposure to harmful air pollution are also really important.
As we age, especially if we are exposed to harmful pollution or cigarette smoke, our lungs can become damaged. In fact, by the age of 65, your typical individual will have lost up to a litre of lung capacity3.
Avoid Air Pollution
Air pollution both increases your risk of developing a lung condition and can also worsen any existing lung conditions you might have. It can also stunt the growth of children’s lungs and has been linked to 36,000 early deaths every year in the UK.
Outdoor air pollution is probably the type of air pollution we most often consider, with its most common sources being vehicles4.
However, indoors can be another area where we are exposed to pollutants. As a result, it is a good idea to keep your house clean, well ventilated and avoid smoking indoors5.
To put it simply, one of the best ways to reduce harm to your lungs is to not smoke. Cigarettes damage your lungs, narrowing and stiffening the airways as well as damaging your DNA. This can lead to conditions like COPD and lung cancer6,7.
Quitting smoking helps reduce further harm to your lungs and improve your overall well-being.
Luckily, if you are a smoker who is looking to quit, there are plenty of resources and tools to help you stop smoking.