How to exercise with asthma?

How to exercise with asthma?

Exercising with asthma is often very difficult and frustrating, sometimes even dangerous. On the other side, continuous exercise, if done correctly, can ease asthma symptoms. So, the question is: how to exercise properly with asthma?

Exercise-induced asthma(EIA)

Before we start talking about the tips and recommendations for training, we should talk about EIA. It’s the clinical term for getting an asthma attack due to exercising. Basically, it occurs when your airway temperature decreases(usually due to rapid breathing). After that, your airway temperature increases significantly and that’s usually when EIA happens.

The environment in which you workout has a huge connection to EIA.

If the air is too ventilated, you have more frequent change between overheating and too cool airwave temperature. On the other side, if the air is not ventilated enough for you, you will have huge spikes in airwave warmth.

Try to exercise in a controlled environment, where the air is ventilated per your needs.
The important thing to know about EIA is that exercising is usually not the only cause of that asthma attack, especially when exercising occurs outdoors.

When to ask for help?

Getting an attack during exercise is common, but at what point should you call an ambulance?

If you don’t feel good, you should stop training immediately. If you have shortness of breath and have an unusually tough time breathing, please seek medical help.

Also, if using your prescription inhaler for emergency care doesn’t help ease your symptoms, look for medical help.

How to prepare for a workout or training?

  • First things first, consulting your doctor about pre-workout medication is a must. Usually, people take their medication 10-15 minutes before a workout. The timing might depend on your medication and asthma condition.
  • Check your surroundings. If the the conditions aren’t suitable for your asthma, skip this workout or change location; this is especially important when you’re exercising outside.
  • Warm up, and ease into your regular working conditions. Light cardio before beginning every workout can help your body ‘get used’ to exercise.

Tips on exercising with asthma

Remember that asthma is very personalized and some of these tips may not help you as much as others.

  • While working out, try to breathe through your nose as much as you can.
  • If you’re exercising outside, be wary of outdoor asthma triggers. You can either skip your workout or try to protect yourself from them. One way of protecting yourself from triggers such as air pollution is to wear an air filtration mask. It’s important to mention that for triggers such as pollen an air filtration mask may not be sufficient.
  • Try to exercise in a low to moderate intensity range. High levels of exertion may lead to EIA(Exercise Induced Asthma).
  • Keep your workouts relatively short. Depending on your fitness level, between 20-45 minutes should be enough for a good workout.
  • Always carry your rescue inhaler with you while working out. You may think you don’t need it, but bring it just in case. Your safety should be the number one priority.
  • After working out, try to have a ‘cool down’ routine. Lower your pace slowly, and try to control your breathing.

If you’re looking for more asthma workout tips, you can find them in AsthmaPal, along with advice on preventing incoming asthma attacks for every asthma trigger.

Of course, there’s a lot more waiting once you download the app.


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