Exercising When You Have Asthma
posted: Oct. 26, 2020.
Exercise offers amazing health benefits; however, what if you have been diagnosed with asthma? If you have asthma you may have discovered that exercise triggers your wheezing, coughing, and chest tightness; however, it’s important not to give up on exercise just because you have asthma. Your asthma specialist can help you find ways to exercise safely even with asthma.
Everything from extreme temperatures to allergens can increase your risk for an asthma attack, and since most people breathe through their mouths while exercising, you may find that mouth breathing triggers your symptoms. Instead, try to breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. This may be less likely to trigger symptoms.
To Exert or Not To Exert?
When you find a workout that you love it’s hard to imagine giving it up if you have asthma. Some people with milder symptoms may be able to push themselves a little harder than those with more severe symptoms but it’s important not to overexert yourself. Some of the best exercises for improving the health and strength of the lungs include:
- Swimming: This low-impact aerobic activity is one of the best exercises for those with asthma, as it can help strengthen the muscles to improve lung capacity and breathing.
- Yoga: Yoga provides you with safe, gentle exercises that can help to open up your chest and teach people how to breathe more deeply. This in turn may improve asthma symptoms.
- Brisk walking: Walking is another great exercise because it’s gentle on the body and is low intensity but still offers great cardiovascular benefits. Try to walk for at least 30 minutes each day.
It’s important to talk with your asthma specialist about different exercises and physical activities in which you are interested in taking part. While we don’t want to limit what our asthma patients do, it’s important to recognize that certain activities such as snowboarding or endurance running can trigger symptoms. Of course, this is where your allergist comes in to provide you with medications and ways to help you control your symptoms to prevent a flare-up.
If you are living with asthma but want to incorporate exercise into your daily routine, it’s important to do it safely. Talk to a qualified allergist and asthma specialist before starting a new workout regimen.