Brendan Hall of Hastings has been dealing with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in the past year.

After discussing his conditions with a friend, he was made aware of Green Prescription and what that could help him with. With that conversation, he felt the need to mention Green Prescription as an option to his doctor.

An increase in physical activity was something his doctor thought would be highly beneficial to manage his condition which led to his referral in June.

At the time of the referral Mr Hall was not doing any form of regular exercise and was very keen to get started, formulating a plan to kick-start his journey to a healthier lifestyle.


He was assigned Rachel Gunson as his active living adviser through the Green Prescription programme.

To begin, she encouraged him to attend low impact classes, like sit and be fit and yogalates - an exercise technique that combines the benefits of strength training from Pilates and the flexibility of yoga in one session - to learn basic techniques.

Following those classes, he attended the water confidence session at Swim Heretaunga in Flaxmere and continued on with aqua aerobics.

He then went on to sample the other programmes provided by Green Prescription including the home exercise programme where he bought a dyna band to do exercises at home with.

He now regularly does yogalates class at the Flaxmere Community Centre and is exercising on a regular basis.

"Yogalates was the first thing that I tried and I really enjoyed it so I've been going back every week," Mr Hall said. "I've noticed that my breathing is a lot better than it used to be and I'm making more of an effort to keep active."

He managed to get his daughter, Kelly, to come along too.

"I've been able to take home a few things and even do exercises at home which saves lots of time. Kelly and I also started going to the cooking sessions about four weeks ago. We've really enjoyed that and I'm now able to cook different things at home as well."

"It's made a huge difference to my life. I just need to keep exercising and eating right."

Green Prescription is a health professional's advice to increase physical activity and improve nutrition. This is a free programme and is delivered by Sport Hawke's Bay.

To find out more check out our Green Prescription Hawke's Bay Facebook page or go to