For a person who suffers from asthma, keeping it under control requires more than carrying an inhaler. It is a disease which can be kept in check easily through some simple lifestyle changes. Below are some asthma-healthy ways that you can bring about in your day-to-day routine if you or a close one suffers from it.
Smoke-free zone – It is the first crucial change to be made by an asthmatic. As Dr. A.K.Gupta, Director of Ovihams Homeopathic Clinic puts it, “Tobacco-smoke makes asthma conditions worse as well as makes the medicine less effective. Besides, kids who live in a house where smoking is regular, will find that they have less control over their asthma symptoms than others.”
Thus, it is not enough to just quit smoking yourself, but an asthma sufferer should also stay away from smoking zones like bars and maintain a strict no-smoking policy in his/her car as well as home. “I am so glad that smoking has been banned in public places. I can now go enjoy a drink in my favourite pub without being choked to death by cigarettes everywhere,” says Anita, a PR consultant.
Calorie Crisis – Scientific studies have proved the connection between asthma and obesity. For instance, the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey of 2005-06 found that out of 4500 men and women, one third were obese, and 12% of the obese people suffered asthma. The conclusion of the Survey stated that the risk of asthma tripled in obese people as compared to their healthy counterparts.
Medications are also more effective in asthamatics with normal weight than in obese people. So, keeping your weight in check is very important.
Exercising regularly – Exercising helps your aerobic capacity, which makes life a lot easier for asthma patients. So, getting into a fitness routine is a must, if it is not a part of your life already. This is true even for children who suffer from asthma. Do not let them be left out in Physical Training classes at school, but do monitor the type of exercise taking place. Dr. Gupta says, “Exercise to a certain extent is advisable. However, heavy exercise like push-ups is detrimental and might trigger an asthma attack.”
Food for Thought – Most packaged foods contain preservatives which can trigger asthma attacks, so it is always better to practice caution and eat homemade, wholesome food rather than a take-out. If you do eat outside, take care to note the ingredients in the dish you order. Dr. Gupta notes that, “Rich, fried or heavy food precipitate asthma attacks, so it is wise to steer clear of such food.”
The Stress Factor – Dr. Gupta warns about the dangers that stress poses because it can also trigger asthma, especially in children. He says, “Children, if scolded or pressurized about studies and other activities, tend to have sudden attacks. Also, if parents leave the child home alone and go away for a couple of days, such distancing can give a rise to emotional setbacks which again can trigger attacks.” Thus, it is advised to keep stress levels low for asthma sufferers, particularly ensuring that children remain calm and unaffected.
Managing your asthma isn't just about following your treatment plan from your doctor. It takes a whole-health approach because almost every aspect of your life can greatly influence your symptoms.
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