Don’t Let Asthma Stop You From Working Out
If you are one of the growing millions in the U.S. diagnosed with asthma, you know that sometimes exercise can be difficult for you and others. Many people with asthma avoid exercise and physical activity for fear of triggering their
symptoms. There is good news, though – you can exercise and work out as long as you take the necessary precautions:
1) Warm up first – ease into your workout to give your body time to adjust. Begin with chest exercises to help open up the rib cage and chest cavity for optimal breathing.
2) Use your inhaler before you exercise and keep it close by just in case you need it.
3) Know your triggers and avoid them.
4) Pay attention to the weather. If you are working out or exercising outdoors in the cold, wear a scarf or facemask to warm and humidify the air you are breathing in – this will help prevent your lungs from drying out. If it is hot and pollution levels are high it would be best to work out indoors in a controlled air environment.
5) Take Breaks. Listen to your body and drink plenty of water. Don’t try to overdo it!
your work out with a cool-down period.
your work out with a cool-down period.Just like warming up, it is important to give your body time to adjust.
Wondering what kind of exercises would be right for you? Generally there are 2 types of exercises that are recommended for people with asthma – exercises that require quick bursts of activity followed by a period of rest, and low-intensity exercises that focus on breathing. Some examples of each are:
1) Swimming: Swimming can be a great exercise for people with asthma as you breathe in warm, moist air rather than the cold, dry air that can lead to asthma symptoms. Regular swimming also helps in developing good breathing practices. If you plan to swim in a pool, make sure that chlorine is not one of your asthma triggers. Check your community for salt-water pools which are becoming more popular.
2) Aerobics: The benefits of aerobics for asthmatics and non-asthmatics are myriad, but for asthmatics in particular this exercise is great because it is one that requires short, intermittent periods of exertion. These types of exercises work well for asthmatics.
3) Yoga: Yoga is a low-impact form of exercise that helps you to develop your flexibility, strength, balance, and breathing control. A 2010 study showed that regular practice of yoga reduced inflammation, which can benefit asthmatic patients tremendously.
4) Tai Chi: Like yoga, tai chi is also a form of low-impact exercise. It is mind-body practice that increases muscle strength, flexibility, balance, and, to a lesser degree, aerobic conditioning. Breathing control is a component of tai-chi.
Are you an asthmatic who works out regularly and has tips for other readers? If so, please share your experiences below.