Exercising with Asthma


Asthma is a disorder characterized by inflammation of the lungs and the airways. As it causes the airways to swell, it reduces the amount of air that enters as the muscles from the tract usually become tight, thereby causing shortness of breath, bough and even wheezing.  In different people, asthma can be triggered by 1 or more variable factors to varying degrees, such as dust, animal fur, pollen or change in weather, mold, stress (physical or psychological), respiratory infections, smoke or even exercise. Some of these cases are genetic and usually run in families, while some may be triggered by certain common drugs. While each person and has response to these stressors is different, if regulated the right way, t is very much possible for a person with asthma to carry on the daily routine activities, including regular exercise.

Some of the basic things one can adopt in order to avoid a possible asthma attack, while still maintaining a regular physically active lifestyle are as follows:

1. Avoid smoking and even passive smoke at home or around you.

2. Wash your hands regularly and watch out for dust and mites in your bedroom or all the places you spend most of your time in.

3. Get flu shots regularly to avoid common seasonal infections, that can get aggravated more in a person with asthma.

4. Be aware of your body response and the surroundings, and know what triggers your asthma attacks.

5. Cover your face, especially nose in winters as well as spring pollen season.

6. Try things like air purifier for your room and keep your windows closed in the pollen season. Avoid going outdoors during that time, and stay in a well-regulated air conditioning room rather than breathing outside air.

7. Bathe your pets regularly if you have any and avoid exposure to their fur as much as possible.

8. Wash your bedding and clothes regularly in hot water and with mild detergents.

9. If exercise triggers an attack, try to work out a balance on the duration or the kind of exercises you do. It is often the extent to which you stretch your capacity that causes a response.  It is always possible to participate in some form of sports or exercise without having any effect on your asthma episodes. Talk to your doctor to discuss your options further and start slow with whatever form of sports or exercise you are interested in.

10. Asthma attack still happen at the most unexpected of times. The idea is to have your inhaler and mediation handy at all times. You should also always now your close friends and family know what to expect in case an attack goes severe and where your medication would be.

11. Use the inhaler wisely. Even if it seems to give temporary relief, you should not go overboard. Strictly follow the recommended dosage and the best option to avoid an overdose is to just go light on the exercise schedule if you don’t’ feel good about how you feel.

12. Participate in sports that can expand your lung capacity (such as swimming, yoga etc)

Some people also suffer particularly from EIA  (which is exercise induced asthma.). The symptoms for that appear a few minutes after exercising and can be worse in extreme weather conditions. Exercise is still very important and people with EIA can practice swimming, biking, walking and team sports, hat ever works best for your body keeping your limitations in mind.

Keeping all of the above in mind, one should not forget that asthma is still a physiological condition and not just mind over matter. It is however easily treatable and most of the times preventable. Be proactive, aware and it can be relatively very easy to manage your asthma, taken the right medication and right steps towards healthy lifestyle.


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