What’s your excuse to not exercise? You can say a hectic routine, no motivation, back issues, and a lot more. You may even say asthma if you are suffering from it. But truth to be told, you don’t have to forbid exercising even if you have asthma. 

There is no denying that asthma comes with lifestyle changes. If you are suffering from asthma, you have to be extra cautious. This may include keeping your inhalers with you all the time, avoiding high altitude areas, trekking etc. Even though you may have to avoid these things, exercise is not included. 

Asthma should not be your excuse to skip your workouts. Yes, workout can be challenging and you may not have the same stamina your peers will have, but you shouldn’t skip exercising. Moderate exercises can be performed. In fact, exercising can be beneficial for those suffering from asthma. 

In this blog, let’s explore how physical activity can help improve the symptoms of asthma in the long term, in addition to improving overall health.

Benefits of exercise when you have asthma

Physical activity provides a range of health advantages, such as enhancing cardiovascular health, promoting mental well-being, and lowering the likelihood of various health issues.

Additionally, regular physical activity is crucial for respiratory health, offering numerous advantages for individuals managing asthma. Research studies indicate that engaging in daily exercise contributes to the enhancement of lung capacity, signifying the maximum volume of oxygen the body can utilise. The key is to do the right kind — and amount — of physical exercise.

Nevertheless, talking about the benefits of exercising for asthma patients, here are they: 

  • Enhanced lung function, leading to increased overall endurance and a quicker recovery from breathlessness.
  • Weight loss, contributing to a decreased risk of asthma attacks.
  • Improved immune system functionality, lowering the susceptibility to upper respiratory infections that may trigger asthma symptoms.
  •  Enhanced mood and stress reduction, potentially alleviating asthma symptoms.

Getting started with a safe fitness routine

As we said, the key is to be cautious if you have asthma and you need to exercise. Here are a few tips you can follow.

  • Before initiating an exercise regimen, consult with your doctor to discuss any necessary adjustments to your medications or address concerns related to increased physical activity.
  • Adhere to all prescribed medications recommended by your doctor. Short-acting bronchodilators may be necessary to manage symptoms before and after exercising.
  • Commence solo exercises initially, such as walking, and integrate them into your daily routine.
  • Exercise at a moderate level. Begin with a gradual approach, starting with just 10 minutes of walking each day.
  • If experiencing symptoms, refrain from exercising until they improve, as normal airway function is essential for safe physical activity.
  • Cease exercise immediately and consult your doctor if symptoms worsen. Intensive medical treatment may be required.
  • Adjust your workouts based on weather variations and changes in symptoms. Refrain from engaging in physical activity during the coldest periods of the day, such as early morning or evening.
  • Additionally, avoid exercising when pollution or allergen levels are at their peak. Instead, opt for indoor exercise. Be mindful of potential irritants like smoke or allergens even in indoor environments.
  • Consider outdoor air quality when selecting exercise locations. If the Air Quality Index (AQI) is above 50 (moderate to unhealthy range), opt for indoor exercise.
  • Schedule exercise during times when the likelihood of an asthma attack is minimised, with mid-to-late morning often being optimal.
  • Incorporate warm-up and cool-down routines to reduce the risk of potential symptoms.
  • Commit to a long-term exercise program for improved health, recognising that it may take up to six weeks to observe meaningful results.
  • Take breaks as needed and progressively increase the intensity and duration of workouts, with a focus on duration.
  • Encourage others to join you, as exercising together is more enjoyable and enhances the likelihood of continued engagement. Pets, particularly dogs, can make great walking companions.
  • Explore community programs or seek assistance from certified health and fitness/EIM Professionals if needed. A good pair of shoes is all you really need to start walking.
  • Utilise a pedometer or activity tracker to monitor progress and gradually work towards a goal, such as achieving 10,000 steps per day.
  • Make sure to drink plenty of fluids before, during, and after exercise.

Closing Thoughts

Develop your exercise plan with the goal of maximising benefits while minimising health risks and impact on your physical condition. Consider collaborating with a health and fitness professional, in consultation with your doctor. By working together, you can set achievable goals and create a program that is not only safe and effective but also enjoyable.

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