Exercising with Asthma

Asthma is a condition often misunderstood and it’s partly because of all the myths that surround the condition. Those with asthma often hear things like: “you are not sick, it’s all in your head” or “you shouldn’t exercise, it may worsen your symptoms.” These misconceptions are simply not true. Asthma is a chronic disease that affects the airways; therefore, it’s not a psychological disorder and controlled physical activity helps you lead a healthier and normal life.

Even though some people may have exercise-induced asthma and high-intensity activities may cause asthma symptoms to flare up, exercise may actually be good for your asthma and you might consider making exercise a part of your daily or weekly routine. Talk to your physician about giving your lungs a regular workout to help them become more resilient and reduce the risk of asthma symptoms.

Adopting a regular exercise routine may:

  • Help boost your immune system and may help fight symptoms triggered by colds.
  • Improve your overall health reducing the risk of heart disease, stroke, dementia, and diabetes.
  • Prevent obesity which can make asthma symptoms more difficult to manage.
  • Help your body produce dopamine and make you feel happier.
  • Strengthen your lungs and build more stamina, which will help you battle breathlessness.

Now that you know the potential benefits exercising may bring, it’s time to find the right exercise for you! However, this may be a little tricky since everybody is different. Here are some exercises you might want to try:

  • Walking: Adopting a moderate-to-brisk 30-minute walking routine that includes a warm-up and cool-down can help you improve your fitness and control your asthma.
  • Yoga: Hatha-yoga may help you activate more areas of the lungs through breathing exercises.
  • Golfing: The activity tends to be staggered, which gives you plenty of time to catch your breath.
  • Tennis: Like other racquet sports, tennis allows you to control the pace of the game and gives way to regular rests between games. And the water bottle is always close by!

The most important thing to remember is to monitor and manage your asthma symptoms. If a certain activity is not working for you, don’t be afraid to try something new.

Florida Pulmonary Research Institute is dedicated to help further the asthma treatment and knowledge through research. We are currently seeking volunteers to participate in asthma research studies. Those that qualify will receive study-related care and medication at no cost and a better understanding of how to manage asthma symptoms.  Participants may also receive compensation for time and travel.