If you have asthma, you may often feel that you have to limit your activity, but that is not necessarily the case. Specially designed exercise programs and medical breakthroughs allow asthmatics to participate in active, normal lifestyles. Most can even exercise safely with their doctors’ approval. Here are some exercises that you can perform if you have asthma without triggering an attack.
Swimming is typically one of the best exercises for asthmatics for several reasons. The warm moist environment helps to keep attacks at bay. Unlike cold dry air, which irritates airways, the air around swimming pools keeps bronchial passages from becoming swollen and inflamed, thus preventing an asthma attack. Second, the breathing required for swimming does not over stimulate sensitive airways or cause chest tightness. Also, the calm, steady breaths used in doing laps around the pool not only allows you to exercise without irritating your asthma, but they can help to strengthen your lungs.
Walking is a great exercise that can be done by almost everyone because it is easy to adapt to individual needs. If you suffer from asthma, you have many options to create a walking routine to fit your lifestyle. If it is cold outside, covering your mouth and nose with a scarf will help to keep airways warm and moist. Walk on a treadmill indoors to keep pollen and smog exposure to a minimum or when air quality warnings are high.
Asthmatics often choose yoga as their workout of choice. Not only does it increase strength and flexibility, but it helps to build lung capacity. While performing yoga, you focus on your breathing. This focus allows you to be more aware of the breaths you are taking, which then helps you to strengthen your lungs.
4. Group Sports
Certain group sports are great for asthma sufferers because they alternate exertion and recovery times. These include basketball, baseball, softball, football and volleyball. For exercise-induced asthma, it takes about 6 minutes of activity to trigger an attack, so group sports that allow for moments of rest are an excellent choice for many asthmatics. However, some sports may not allow players to rest, or they are performed in cold weather climates that trigger asthma attacks. You must remember to choose which activities work best for you.
Work closely with your doctor to find a controller medicine that works for you. As you exercise, keep a rescue inhaler nearby in case of an attack. It is also very important to warm your body up and cool it down to give your lungs time to prepare and recover from your workout. Monitor your breathing during your routine, and use your inhaler at the first sign of chest tightness. Get your doctor’s approval before starting any exercise program.