Exercise & Asthma

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Exercising in moderate amount may help in controlling asthma as it helps to improve the strength of the lungs and airways but it is advisable to consult your doctor before starting.

  • Always monitor your status of asthma with a peak flow meter before and after doing exercises
  • Before beginning your exercise take care to warm up your body and muscles
  • Learn certain good breathing exercises from a physiotherapist
  • Exercises like jogging and swimming is very beneficial
  • Avoid exercising in cold air and if you do exercise take care to put a scarf or cold air mask so that the air becomes warm and moisten before reaching the airways.
  • Try to exercise in places that have low quantities of asthma triggers.
  • Try sports that involve short bursts of exertion interspersed with rest periods like tennis, golf, baseball, and volleyball
  • Singing and playing instruments like the flute improve breathing capacity.
  • Always keep a handy inhaler or some bronchodilator
  • Yogic breathing exercises like Pranayam is useful

Managing Exercise induced asthma

It is important to remember that sometimes exercises may worsen the condition of a person (exercise-induced asthma) but there are a few simple things that you can follow to reduce the chances of exercise-induced asthma. These include :

  • Avoid doing exercises especially if you have any indication of symptoms before starting your exercises.
  • Monitor your asthma status before starting exercises
  • Take care to warm up your body and muscles before starting the exercises.
  • Avoid doing exercises in cold weather
  • Do exercises in area free from triggering allergens
  • Try slow walking or mild aerobic exercises. Walk or exercise for 30 seconds followed by a period of 60 seconds rest.
  • Prevent yourself from getting dehydrated : 10 – 20% of water is lost in continuous aerobic exercises in warm weather. This can dry up the airways resulting in asthmatic attack, therefore to prevent dehydration carry water bottle with you.
  • While doing swimming keep sure that you are accompanied by a person who is aware what to do in case you have an asthmatic attack.
  • Don’t exert yourself. As soon as you start observing any chest tightness or wheezing stop exercising immediately.
  • Keep your emergency medications with you always.