Everyone should engage in some sort of aerobic activity to keep their heart and lungs healthy, and muscles toned and strong. Even people with asthma benefit from regular exercise; it helps to increase lung capacity therefore allowing the lungs to function more efficiently. Many times the fear of an asthma attack keeps asthmatics from participating in activities that they enjoy. Asthma and exercise may seem like fire and water to some, but there are ways to make these two very compatible. Many professional athletes suffer from asthma and allergies, but they have found a way to manage their symptoms effectively so that they can perform at their fullest potential. There are many good asthma and allergy medications on the market today, some available over-the-counter and some by prescription only that can greatly reduce the onset of asthma symptoms during exercise.
According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (ACAAI), physical and emotional well-being can be improved through regular exercise, which can also help to manage asthma symptoms. Here are a few asthma and exercise facts that can help people get active and stay active by learning these simple interventions. Not all types of exercise will provoke asthma symptoms, and before beginning any type of exercise program, an asthma and allergy specialist or health care practitioner should be consulted. Asthma and exercise can cause symptoms such as shortness of breath, a tight feeling in the chest, or coughing, all of which can develop into a full blown asthma attack if not treated immediately. By using a short or long acting bronchodilator prior to exercising, asthma symptoms can be controlled or even prevented completely. Other medications such as decongestants and antihistamines, either oral or inhaled, are also effective in controlling asthma and exercise.
Other important asthma and exercise facts include not exercising in cold or windy weather, or when pollen counts are high. These factors can aggravate asthma and allergy symptoms, which can lead to a more severe attack. Asthma and exercise routines can be tailored to each individual’s specific needs, and some activities are better tolerated than others. For more information on asthma and exercise visit the Medem Medical Library at www.medem.com or a number of other online sources that have great suggestions on how to stay active and benefit from regular exercise while controlling asthma and allergy symptoms. Asthma does not have to equal a sedentary lifestyle, in fact, this type of approach does more harm than good.
As a lifetime asthma and allergy sufferer, I can tell you that my symptoms decreased greatly when I joined the football team in my sophomore year in high school. The constant running drills really built up my lung capacity and enabled me to fight through minor asthma attacks brought on my the cold Michigan football weather. I can still remember taping my prescription bronchodilator to a hollow spot on my girdle pad. I often wondered what it would feel like if it broke during a tackle; thank goodness that never happened.
Asthma or no Asthma, it is always important to stay active and push yourself a little further than you think you can go. It is the only way to move forward in your life. Good luck and Breathe Easy!