Can Regular Exercise Improve Asthma?

Asthma sufferers know full well that there are a number of potential triggers and risks that can make their condition worse. Aside from common triggers such as dust, mold, cold weather, and high pollen counts, some people, especially those with untreated asthma, find that exercise can be a significant trigger for symptoms. While exercise can certainly pose risks when asthma is uncontrolled, it has been found that exercise and physical activity can actually help asthma!

Exercise can have a number of benefits when it comes to keeping asthma in check. There are several reasons why regular physical activity can help improve asthma and reduce symptoms:

  • Increases lung strength
  • Increase in oxygen intake
  • Improved function of muscles used during breathing
  • Promotes healthy weight
  • Strengthens immune system

Exercise is one of the most important things a person can do to improve their overall health, and it has been found to also help asthma sufferers breathe better not only when they exercise, but also when they are not. For some, especially those with exercise-induced asthma, exercise may seem like a counterintuitive way to deal with symptoms, since exercise itself can be a trigger. With a gradual progression into exercise, a program for physical activity created by your doctor, and regular activity, however, you can effectively begin to strengthen your lungs to tolerate more exercise.

Asthma does not have to put an end to all activity or keep you on the sidelines. It may surprise you, but there are many professional and world-class athletes who excel at their sports while managing asthma. By adequately managing your condition and improving your lung function, you can safely enjoy many types of exercise.

When it comes to exercise, especially when just beginning a new regimen, there are certain forms of physical activity that you can do that will be less likely to trigger symptoms or an attack. According to specialists from the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, physical activity involving short bursts of activity, such as periods of stop and go, are less likely to trigger symptoms than longer periods of continuous activity, like long distance running. Safe activities can include:

  • Low-impact walking
  • Swimming
  • Bicycling
  • Weight lifting
  • Intermittent running

It is important to note that where and when you exercise can also have an impact on your condition, as certain factors can exacerbate symptoms and make them worse. Running outdoors in colder months, for example, can trigger symptoms, as well as exercising outside when pollen counts are high. Even if you engage in an exercise plan, you should still be aware of other factors than can contribute to symptoms or an attack.

Having helped numerous children and adults throughout the Atlanta metro area efficiently manage their asthma, our specialists at the Center for Allergy and Asthma of Georgia know how to fully assess, evaluate, and help patients find the lasting relief they need. We also value the importance of working closely with patients, educating them about their condition, and assisting them in developing plans to not only treat and manage symptoms, but find ways to improve their condition through physical activity.

Prior to starting any exercise plan when you have asthma should always be done with the assistance of an experienced doctor. Remember, exercise and other factors can trigger symptoms and attacks, especially if a condition has been unmanaged. Because of this, it is important to meet with a doctor who can provide medications, such as fast acting inhalers, which you can have in the event of an exercise-induced attack. Our specialists can help determine if medications are beneficial to you, and explain when, in what dosage, and how they should be used.

If you or your child has been suffering with asthma that prevents you from leading the full and active life you want, it may be time to seek professional medical assistance. Our team at the Center for Allergy and Asthma of Georgia knows that this condition can impact our patients’ quality of life, which is why we view our role in their health as a fundamental component of helping them improve their lives. We are readily available to meet with you, conduct a thorough evaluation, and begin a tailored treatment plan that helps you manage your unique condition. We can also provide information to help you manage asthma through exercise.

For more information about our services, our team, and how we can help you, contact one of our conveniently located offices or schedule an appointment online.

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