Is It Safe To Exercise If I Have Asthma?
Exercise is one of the common triggers for asthmatic symptoms. But is it safe though to exercise with asthma? Yes; and here’s why.
Many asthmatic people may experience asthmatic symptoms during or immediately after exercise. These include:
- Difficulty breathing;
- Chest tightness;
- Or pains.
Does this mean that people with asthma cannot exercise? No. Most people with asthma can successfully do their exercise of choice with proper information and treatment.
Asthma treatment helps you maintain a normal and healthy lifestyle, which includes exercise and other physical activities.
This article will describe the safe exercises for asthmatic people, how to control asthma while exercising, and what to do in case you have an asthma attack.
Is It Safe To Exercise With Asthma?
Yes, it is. People who have asthma tend to be more sensitive to extremes of temperature, dry air, common allergens, and even air pollution.
Normally, breathing through the nose moistens, warms, and filters the air before getting into the lungs.
While exercising, we tend to breathe through the mouth, which may trigger asthma symptoms. This means that people with asthma may feel better breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth when exercising.
They should not overexert themselves, as this may trigger asthma symptoms.
Regular exercise is generally better tolerated, but patients with asthma should stop exercising for significant symptoms.
How Do I Exercise Safely When I Have Asthma?
If you have asthma, it might be important to talk to your doctor before starting any exercise or sporting activity. It is especially important if you have asthma symptoms that worsen with exercise.
A doctor experienced in asthma management can help find the best exercises and asthma medications.
Many people with asthma may benefit from taking a short-acting bronchodilator 15 minutes before engaging in an exercise.
If you happen to be in extremely cold or hot weather, or if there is a high pollution level, it may be best to exercise indoors. This applies to patients with both asthma and allergies if the pollen count is high.
Some good tips to help you exercise with asthma include:
- Warm-up first.
- Breathe in through the nose as much as possible.
- Avoid outdoor exercise if pollen counts are high.
- Avoid exercising outdoors when air pollution is high.
- Do not exercise when sick.
- Include a cool-down routine after exercise.
- Do not over-exert while exercising.
- You may want to carry an albuterol inhaler for rescue if needed.
Exercise is an integral part of a healthy lifestyle, even for people with asthma. Working out for about 30 minutes a few days a week is recommended even for people with asthma.
The Best And Worst Exercises For Asthma
Exercises such as swimming are the best exercises for asthma. Swimming builds up the lung muscles you use for breathing. It also exposes the lungs to warm, moist air, which is less likely to trigger any asthma symptoms.
A medical review of eight studies of children and adolescents from 2013 showed that swimming increases lung function and cardiopulmonary fitness without severe side effects in patients who have stable asthma.
Other physical activities for people with asthma include:
Virtually no activity is completely off-limits for people with asthma. Some sports though are more likely to trigger asthma symptoms than others.
The worst exercises for people with asthma include cold-weather sports, like cross-country skiing and ice hockey, and endurance sports, like soccer or long-distance running.
The Benefits Of Exercising With Asthma
Regular physical activity is essential for managing health, improving energy, and reducing the risk of chronic disease.
In addition, if you already have a chronic condition, regular exercise can help you manage it. This includes asthma.
With a doctor’s guidance, regular exercise could help people with asthma by:
- Improving overall lung health;
- Increasing your lung capacity;
- Promoting blood flow to your lungs and heart;
- Improving endurance and stamina;
- Decreasing airway inflammation.
Exercise and sports are an important part of everyone’s healthy lifestyle – even those with asthma. People with asthma should still get regular exercise.
With the right approach, physical activity can benefit your asthma symptoms. So don’t be afraid to exercise with asthma and consult with your doctor first.