If you suffer from asthma, you probably think that you can’t exercise properly or safely. Contrary to what many think of this subject, there are ways that you can get in shape and exercise, even if you suffer from asthma. Asthma is a chronic lung disease that is marked by characteristics such as coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness.
Asthma tends to occur with people who are genetically or environmentally predisposed to the condition. Some of the triggers that may start or make an attack worse include exposure to allergens, viral respiratory infections, airway irritants, exercise, and exposure to things such as dust mites or cockroaches. You can prevent asthma attacks by doing the following:
- Bathe your pets weekly.
- Don’t smoke or permit smoking in your home.
- When mold or pollen counts are high, you should stay inside with air conditioning.
- Wash your bedding and any stuffed toys at least once per week in hot water.
- Wash your hands every chance you get.
- Get a flu shot.
- Wear a scarf over your mouth and nose in the winter months.
- Be proactive and know your triggers and how you should avoid them.
Now that you know what you know about asthma, you may be wondering where exercise fits in. As most doctors will tell you, you shouldn’t give up on sports or exercise at all. You just have to be smart about how you play and take special precautions to avoid attacks. Almost all doctors agree that the best way to prevent attacks during exercise is to keep your inhaler and medication close by.
You should never use the inhaler more than 3 times during a game or exercise session. If you are up the previous night with coughing and wheezing, it’s always best to go light with your exercise the next day. For something known as IEA (Exercise Induced Asthma), the symptoms are somewhat different, in the fact that they appear after 6 – 10 minutes of exercise and will often be worse in cold or dry air. If you have IEA, there are several activities that you can enjoy such as swimming, walking, biking, downhill skiing, and team based sports. There are many activities for you to choose from, to ensure you get the exercise you need as well.
Keep in mind that the condition of asthma isn’t “all in your head”, it is a real physiological medical treatment that will require treatment to prevent and treat. Even though your doctor will be your best friend in treating asthma, you are the one who can prevent your symptoms. Always be smart, take your medication, and be proactive. Don’t let it put you in a life of misery – as you can enjoy exercise just like everyone else.