Exercise strategies for asthma control Exercise strategies for asthma control

Being active is an important part of everyday life – with its multiple health benefits, both physically and emotionally. With asthma, something that hinders the very fundamentals of any kind of physical activity, there is a hardly discussed list of rules and regs that all asthma sufferers quietly abide by to keep themselves out of sticky situations.

Exercising with Asthma

Here is the golden rulebook for the Do’s and Don’ts of Exercising with Asthma, also known as EIB (Exercise-Induced Bronchoconstriction).

Remember to take your inhaler

There’s nothing worse than having an episode of bad asthma, or even an asthma attack, and not having your inhaler to help you out. In the event that this does happen, remain calm, sit upright and do your best to take long, deep breaths. If this does not help your symptoms, seek medical assistance as soon as you can.

Avoid partaking in activities that include long periods of exertion

This includes sports like basketball, football, cross country running and marathons. These particular sports encourage the use of an inhaler from cold air being brought into the lungs in quick, short bursts which irritates the lungs and induces asthmatic symptoms.

Play team sports

These should be ones that don’t ensure constant physical activity to tire you out. Sports such as baseball and volleyball are good as they can include short but very beneficial breaks in activity to regulate breathing. Lone leisure sports, like swimming, are also incredibly beneficial as you can breathe in warm, humid air which helps the lungs to function better, building overall stamina and upper body strength. Having a constant exercise routine without pushing yourself too intensely can aid in the treatment of asthma.

Stop exercising if you are showcasing symptoms of asthma

The worst thing to do is overdo it and cause a major health risk to yourself all in the name of exercise. Take it easy and listen to your body. It's okay to stop! If your symptoms do tend to worsen, do seek help from a medical professional, especially if you may be needing a newly improved asthma plan.

Warm up before exercising

This goes without saying, but warming up is important with or without asthma to ensure that there are no unnecessary tears of muscles or stiffness when carrying out certain exercises. From an asthma perspective, this can help warm up not only your body, but your lungs so you’re able to endure a longer period of exercise and have your lungs used to the pattern of your breathing during exertion.

Cooldown after exercise

Cooldowns are just as important as warm ups, but asthma symptoms are also likely to occur around 30 minutes post-exercise, so it’s important to regulate your breathing slowly and carefully and take your reliever inhaler if you are still struggling to breathe.

An important takeaway from this is to not let asthma get in the way of your physical health. With all of the benefits that a regular exercise routine can have, you may find that this can ultimately improve your asthma a lot more than you think.