Asthma & Exercise

Asthma & Exercise

Asthmatics often live with the fear of having an attack that could leave them gasping for air at anytime during physical exercise. This is a high price to pay for a little physical activity. It’s the fear of such episodes that create what I call “exercise dropouts”.


Experts theorize that the reason exercise induces asthma is that upon excretion air rushes into the airways before it can become properly warmed and humidified through your nasal passages. This onslaught of cold dry air triggers the release of high dosages of histamine causing the muscles surrounding the airways to go into spasms and squeeze the air passages. Histamine also covers the airway lining to swell and produce mucus, causing awful chest tightening.

The key to exercising as an asthmatic patient is that it makes breathing more efficient.


Best Exercises:

Swimming has been shown to produce fewer episodes of exercise induced asthma. Believed to be due to inhalation of warm, humid air, which is less likely to trigger an asthma attack.

Asthma sufferers may find that exercises like tennis, baseball, and other stop and start sports may induce fewer symptoms than continuous activities like basketball or running. Enjoying sort burst activities, gives more time for recovery and is less likely to provoke an attack.

Special Precautions:

If you use a pre-medicated inhaler, make sure to use it 30 minutes before exercise and be sure to keep your inhaler handy while you exercise.

Try group exercise programs to have assistance nearby in case of an attack.