How can I exercise if I have asthma?

Not only can asthmatics exercise, they actually should. Movement is the best respiratory therapy. Regular physical activity strengthens pulmonary function, improves endurance and the respiratory muscles, eases depression and helps you relax.

In order to get the most out of your physical activity, you should be monitored by your doctor and regularly monitor your peak flow rate. This is the reference value for pulmonary function.

Before you get started, you should have learned in asthma training to perceive and respect your physical limits. By following these simple precautionary measures, asthmatics can do almost any kind of sport they enjoy.

  • Do not start cold. Start with a warm-up in phases and intervals.
  • Make sure that you give your breathing a chance to return to normal between training units in order to prevent hyperventilation.
  • Do not overexert yourself and take breaks if necessary.
  • If you have allergic asthma, do your training indoors during high pollen count periods.

The best types of exercise are ones that strengthen your respiratory muscles and posture (such as dancing or gymnastics), or that train your stamina and responsiveness (volleyball, rowing, cycling or light jogging).

You should cease exercising temporarily if:

  • You have an acute infection.
  • Your peak flow measurements are not within the normal range.
  • You recently suffered an asthma attack.

Find more information on allergic asthma here.