Can you Exercise When You have Asthma

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Some might say that if you are stricken with a debilitating breathing disease like asthma that you should not exercise. You are not able to exercise! How can anyone who can’t breathe be expected to put forth the least physical exertion. If you said this, then you would be wrong. You see, exercise should be the part of every healthy human’s regimen. If you just bear in mind a few quick things in order to maximize your effort, you won’t tire too quickly, and you’ll avoid endangering something greater like life or limb.

Asthma should not at all inhibit your ability to exercise. In fact, if you have limitations in your ability to exercise and that is blamed by you on asthma then you may have a much larger problem. It may be that your asthma is not being controlled in a correct manner. If this is the case you should immediately stop your program until you are able to meet with a doctor or, if you need, never be afraid to seek out the hospital in an emergency. Inability to exercise with unrelenting symptoms is a sign your asthma is out of control. If this is the case, you really need to put this problem to rest before beginning your program again.

If, ordinarily, your asthma is in under control, yet symptoms pop up after five or ten minutes from beginning your program, you’re experiencing what is known as “Exercise-induced” asthma.

Exercise-induced asthma is a result of the airways reacting sensitively to temperature or humidity changes. This is of particular consequence while breathing in and out, cold, dry air through the mouth. Air inhaled through the mouth has skipped the nose which normally acts as a humidifying agent prior to the air reaching the lungs. If you are exercising correctly, ‘in through your nose, out through your mouth’ then you are probably bypassing the humidifying agent of the nose.

An easy way to identify exercise-induced asthma is using a breathing test while you are at rest and then comparing that, following exercise. If there is a measurably different result after exercise, you most likely are suffering from exercise-induced asthma.

A number of factors play in to the exercise-induced asthma:

– Length of time exercising
– Allergens, air pollution, or other triggers present
– Humidity
– Temperature

However, a decision to NOT exercise is not a wise idea. Benefits of exercise include:

– Heart/Lung efficiency
– Strength/endurance
– Flexibility/posture
– Ability to relax while at rest

You should always talk to your doctor if you are unsure whether the asthma symptoms are exercise-induced or not. Some things to remember:

– Take medication before beginning exercise, if advisable
– Always warm up before exercising and cool down after
– Build up, in a deliberate manner, an exercise program you’re comfortable with
– Stop and rest at the first sign of symptoms
– Know the environment you are most sensitive to and avoid those areas

Exercise is part of a healthy lifestyle. Keeping your asthma in check is also. Your ability to integrate both is the key to a long and healthy life.

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