Having Asthma Doesn't Mean You Can't Work Out! Here are the Best Exercises for People with Asthma

Activities that involve short, intermittent periods of exertion, such as walking, and golfing are generally well tolerated by people with symptoms of asthma.

Ariba Khaliq
AsthmaWritten by: Ariba KhaliqPublished at: Feb 25, 2011Updated at: Jan 15, 2015
Having Asthma Doesn't Mean You Can't Work Out! Here are the Best Exercises for People with Asthma

Love to work out? Even if you're one of the millions of people with asthma, this may not be a problem. If exercise triggers shortness of breath or other symptoms, just make sure asthma is well controlled with medication and to choose your activity carefully. Here are some good choices.

Walking- One recent study found that adults who walked three times a week for 12 weeks actually improved asthma control and fitness levels without provoking an attack. Warming up is really important because it will help your tolerance.

Exercises for Asthma

Yoga- Yoga is great for people with asthma because it involves breath control. Breathing exercises can activate more areas of the lung. One study found that people who practiced Hatha yoga two-and-a-half hours a week for 10 weeks were able to cut down on their asthma medication.

Baseball- Baseball, with its spurts of running, alternating with plenty of down time is one of the safer sports for people with asthma. Even so, asthmatics should make sure they're prepared with appropriate medication. One study found that 75% of children who played baseball or soccer did not have a rescue inhaler handy.

Golfing- A round of golf is not only good for the mind, it isn't likely to induce an asthma attack. Again, the activity is staggered, alternating swings with walking on to the next tee. But given that golf is played outside, and if you have an allergic component to asthma and if pollen counts are high, you may want to stay inside.

Swimming- It is a strong endurance sport, and is generally well tolerated by many people with asthma because it is usually performed while breathing warm, moist air. It is also an excellent activity for maintaining physical fitness.

Activities that involve long periods of exertion, such as soccer, distance running, basketball, and field hockey, may be less well tolerated. Also, cold-weather sports, such as ice hockey, cross-country skiing, and ice-skating, may pose challenges.

If asthma symptoms prevent you from participating fully in activities, talk to your asthma doctor. A small change in your asthma action plan may be all that is needed to provide asthma relief during exercise or activity

Image: Getty


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