Exercises and Physical Activities that Work Best with Asthma
Since the primary problem in asthma is the narrowing of the airways leading to decreased oxygen supply to the different organs of the body, by maintaining the patency of the smaller airway passages in the lungs, you will still be able to enjoy some of the activities that are necessary to keep you fit and healthy. Although you cannot expect to run the Boston Marathon, you can at least have some exercises that are guaranteed not to cause a flare-up in your asthma.
General Principles of Exercises on Asthma
In any kind of exercise, warm-up is crucial to prepare the rest of your body on what comes next. It loosens up your muscles so that they become more efficient when you are ready to perform the exercise. For asthmatics warming up gives you the opportunity to gauge your lung’s readiness for the physical activity. If during warm-up you already feel like having an asthma attack, then tone your activities further down.
Improve your breathing exercises. Perform what is known as pursed-lip breathing in order to retain as much air as possible inside your airway passages to keep them open, slowly exhaling in the process.
For some people, aerobic exercise may trigger an asthma attack. They react by avoiding exercise. As a result, their fitness gets worse, and symptoms may occur with even lower levels of physical activity. Exercise can help control the frequency and severity of these asthma episodes, however. Through proper treatment and precautions, you can learn how to control your asthma as you become more active. With the right medicine, most people with asthma should be able to exercise with minimal problems or restrictions. While the reasons are unclear, mounting evidence suggests obesity increases the risk for asthma. If you are overweight, becoming more active will help you lose body weight as well as help your asthma. The key is to choose activities that you enjoy. Making exercise a normal part of your life also can have a major positive impact on your overall health.
Swimming, while physically strenuous, is highly recommended by health experts and is considered the ideal sport for asthmatics. This is because the environment upon which swimming is performed is naturally moist and warm which keeps the airways from drying and getting irritated. Health experts also believe that floating on your back can help loosen the secretions that may have been trapped in your respiratory passages.
Studies have shown that brisk-walking for about 30 minutes with 5 minutes each of warm-up and cool-down can significantly improve asthma control. The studies all point out to the importance of the warm-up sessions prior to the brisk-walking in the preparation of the respiratory system.
Some people do not consider yoga as a form of exercise, but studies have shown this is exceptionally great for people with asthma. The whole idea about yoga is becoming aware of every inch of tension in your body and it teaches you to breathe properly. Experts believe that the usefulness of yoga in asthma management lies in breath control.
Tennis is a sport that allows you frequent rest periods in between vigorous activities. This is one of the key elements to finding the best exercise for people with asthma. as asthmatics may not be able to last continuous physical exertion, activities that offer some rest periods in between plus access to water can be deemed beneficial for asthmatics.
Softball or Baseball
Just like racquet sports, baseball and softball does not entail prolonged and continuous physical exertion. Most of the time you will be in your dugout waiting for your turn at the base plate. Even if you will be out on the field, you will still be waiting for the ball to catch. Unfortunately, if you happen to be allergic to grass, then that is an entirely different matter.
The thing to understand about exercise and asthma is that you need to go slow at first. You also need to choose an activity that will not require sustained physical exertion. You need to look for activities that allow you frequent rest periods in between games as well as access to hydration.