Staying active with asthma is sometimes tricky, since exercise itself may trigger an asthma attack. Yet, despite this, the benefits of an active lifestyle are as important for asthmatics as for anyone else, and there’s medical evidence that those with asthma who incorporate exercise into their lifestyle see fewer and less intense episodes.
You can limit the trigger effects of exercise by observing some simple tips and modifications to your routine. What works best for you may take some trial and error, but as an asthma patient, you stand to gain more than most people in return for your fitness efforts.
The effects of EIB
Exercise-induced bronchoconstriction (EIB) can affect people without asthma, since it’s not truly a cause of the condition, even though about 90% of asthma patients also experience EIB, and it can be a trigger for asthma attacks.
Since your airways are already prone to narrowing, the additional constriction caused by EIB can greatly reduce your participation and enjoyment in favorite activities. Symptoms of EIB are like those of an asthma attack, and since EIB can trigger an asthma episode, you may not be able to recognize these as separate events.
Tips for exercising with asthma
Regular exercise can help you breathe easier all the time, and also boost the efficiency of your immune system. The weight control aspects of exercise also reduce the frequency of asthma attacks, which can be aggravated by extra pounds. Avoiding EIB and exercise-triggered asthma means it’s more likely you’ll stay involved to gain these benefits.
Keep these tips in mind when planning your exercise schedule.
Choose an asthma-friendly activity
Walking and biking are two activities with easily adjustable intensities, as well as being fun to do. You can start gently and build intensity, both within an exercise session and over time. Swimming puts you in an environment with plenty of moist air, which is often soothing to breathe.
Short-burst activities such as tennis, baseball, volleyball, or gymnastics give you more time in-game to recover than sports like soccer, basketball, or running.
Follow your asthma action plan
Talk to your doctor or your asthma specialist at Lakeshore Ear, Nose and Throat Center about how to incorporate your asthma medications and inhalers. Using these at certain times can help you get through your exercise session without issue.
Take it slow
Warming up and cooling off periods are usually helpful when you’re avoiding an asthma episode, as well as a good idea overall for anyone involved in sports. Warm-ups allow you to ease into your performance level without shocking your respiratory system.
Bring it inside
Exercising in cold, dry air can trigger an asthmatic response, as can pollen-filled air if your attacks are triggered by allergies. When possible, exercise indoors or switch to indoor activities to reduce these effects.
Incorporating physical activity into your lifestyle is too important to your overall health to let the challenges of asthma interfere. Before starting any exercise program or sports participation, speak with the experts at Lakeshore Ear, Nose and Throat Center.
They can review your medical history and suggest ways to maximize exercise while minimizing asthma. Call the most convenient office today, or request an appointment here on the website, using the convenient app.
Whether you’re getting into or stepping up your game, a consultation with Lakeshore ENT is your best move.