Asthma and Exercise

Does Exercise Help Asthma? 

Asthma is a serious condition that affects the lives of more than 3 million people every year. Many people with asthma may wonder how they can lessen the symptoms of their asthma or if working out will cause them distress. There are many exercises that are safe for people with asthma to do. So long as you are careful and are aware of your workout’s intensity, exercise can greatly benefit your life and improve asthma symptoms. 

What Is Asthma? 

Asthma is a condition where the lung’s airways become narrower and begin to swell. This can produce excess mucus that makes breaking difficult and causes coughing and wheezing. Asthma may be caused by pollution or airborne allergens, but the overall cause of asthma is unknown. 

Some common asthma symptoms are: 

  • Shortness of breath.
  • Wheezing.
  • Sleeping problems caused by lack of oxygen, coughing or wheezing. 
  • Tightness of the chest.

Asthma symptoms can range from light to severe depending on the individual. Those who have asthma may experience worsened symptoms if they are sick. 

What Exercises Can People With Asthma Do?

While those who suffer from asthma are recommended to exercise regularly, it is also recommended that they not overdo their exercise. Some of the best exercises for asthmatic people are: 

  • Yoga- Yoga is a great breathing exercise as well as physical exercise. Practicing mindful breathing can expand and strengthen your diaphragm muscles.
  • Hiking- Sometimes hiking is exhausting and difficult for those who suffer with asthma. If you pick a flat trail and make sure there are no allergens or irritants in the air, the experience should be fun and worthwhile. 
  • Indoor swimming- Going indoor swimming is really helpful for asthma sufferers. The pressure of the water and warm atmosphere of the indoor pool should relieve any tension or pressure that asthma causes in the chest. 
  • Biking- Going for a bike ride at a leisurely pace can greatly improve lung health. If it isn’t possible to go bike riding outside, stationary bikes provide the same health benefits for asthma sufferers.  
  • Walking- Going for daily walks is great for the body and can help facilitate easier breathing. 

It is important to make sure that you have your rescue inhaler with you if you are partaking in any exercise just in case asthma symptoms become active or worsen. 

Does Exercise Improve Asthma Symptoms? 

Research has shown that regular exercise can improve asthma control, exacerbations, and other key outcomes. By exercising regularly, those with asthma can improve their lung capacity, build endurance, and decrease inflammation in the airway. 

In addition to keeping workouts light, there are other actions that you can take to control asthma symptoms. Some steps to take in addition to your workout are:

  • Warm up before you exercise.
  • Cool down after your workout.
  • Check the weather before you workout outside.

It is recommended that those with asthma try not to exercise outside when the temperatures are freezing or the pollen count is high. Those two conditions are irritating and may cause asthma to be more severe. 

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