Not all of us find excuses to avoid exercising. Some of us want to be genuinely fit and fine, wake up every morning for a short run, or go on a trek. However, as much as we want these things to happen, our medical conditions or health history sometimes don’t allow it. 

The situation might feel familiar to you if you suffer from asthma. Asthma is a chronic condition that affects the airways, compromising the breathing capabilities of the lungs. Even though there is no cure for the condition, its symptoms can be managed. 

One of the most effective ways of managing these symptoms is exercising. 

Surprised, right? You would very well be if you have refrained from exercising all your life because you thought it would ruin your health. 

So, here’s a sweet pill, you can exercise even when you are an asthma patient – given that your asthma condition is not worse but sustainable. 

Today, in this blog, we will be talking in length about asthma and exercising to clear the air for you. 

The benefits of exercising for asthma patients (with mild to moderate asthma) 

Exercising can improve lung function

Exercising can be a magic potion for the lungs. It can improve lung function by increasing the lung capacity. This means, the more you exercise, the more your lungs become habitual of consuming oxygen.  

An increase in stamina 

If your body isn’t used to exercising, you can get breathless during everyday activities that can be a little demanding for the body, such as climbing stairs, or lifting heavy bags while you walk.  However, if you are an asthma patient who regularly exercises, you will build tolerance for such activities and increase your stamina in the process. 

Reduces inflammation

Asthma issues are caused by inflamed airways.  Exercising reduces inflammation to help with asthma symptoms. Consequently, your airways respond better to exercises. 

Improves immune system

The main function of your immune system is to protect your body against infections. Exercising can keep your immune system strong, protecting you against respiratory infections. 

Good for those watching weight 

Obese individuals may have serious asthma and be more prone to asthma attacks. Exercising, combined with a healthy diet, can manage weight, asthma symptoms can be managed and various cardiovascular diseases can also be prevented. 

Who should refrain from exercising? 

Those who are currently experiencing respiratory issues should refrain. It is any day better to talk to your physician if you are beginning a particular workout routine to avoid any health adversities.  It is highly advisable that you start small and slow. You must not start with vigorous exercises that may worsen asthma symptoms. Go slow. If at any moment you feel your asthma symptoms are flaring, listen to your body and stop exercising.

Some tips to follow when you are exercising

Here are some tips that asthmatic patients can follow when they are exercising: 

  • If you are exercising outdoors, be sure to check the weather. Avoid exercising when the air is cool and dry and the pollen counts are high. It is suggested to exercise indoors to reduce the chances of asthma flare-ups.
  • Don’t push yourself too hard, listen to your body. Remember, one size doesn’t fit all. 
  • Do not forget to warm up before exercising. Do a cooldown too. 
  • Take an inhaler prescribed to you. Use it before exercising to relax the airways. 
  • Wear a mask or scarf when you exercise in winter. The dryness in the air can tighten your airways. 

Recommended exercises and exercises to avoid 

Wondering which exercises are the best for asthma patients? Here is a list of exercises asthma patients can try: 

  • Walking 
  • Swimming 
  • Hiking 
  • Cycling 

Asthma can flare up with the following exercises

  • High-intensity workout
  • Running
  • Playing soccer
  • Playing individual sports like badminton, table tennis, hockey, etc. 

Bottom line

In general, you must not let asthma keep you inactive. Exercise can trigger asthma in some instances, also called exercise-induced bronchoconstriction. But it can be prevented and managed with medications prescribed by your doctor.  It is suggested that you talk to your medical practitioner beforehand before starting a workout routine. Nevertheless, if you haven’t worked out in a long time, go slow. Don’t start with vigorous exercise and always do a warm-up and cool-down.

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