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Exercise and Asthma

Sally Perkins provides advice on how to exercise safely when you have asthma.

While some forms of exercise can cause asthma flare-ups, studies have shown that the benefits of exercise for asthma patients outweigh the risks by far. Regular exercise can help improve asthma symptoms in the long run by helping a patient’s lungs work better, boosting their immune system to keep colds at bay, and regulating weight to reduce the chances of asthma attacks. However, this does not mean that you should jump straight into an intense exercise routine, especially if you are not used to working out. Instead, you need to take a carefully considered approach that lets you enjoy the many benefits of exercise without exacerbating your asthma symptoms.

Consult your doctor before starting

Before signing up for a gym membership, it is essential to consult your doctor so that you can come up with an effective asthma action plan. Depending on the type of asthma you have, your triggers, and your unique body, the doctor can advise you on the types of exercises you can do safely and the level of intensity. The doctor can prescribe medication for you to take regularly or right before the workout to prevent asthma attacks when you are working out. They may also prescribe medication should you have an asthma attack during exercise

Pay attention to your exercise environment

Various environmental factors can trigger asthma attacks, and since different patients have different triggers, it is vital to know what exactly triggers your asthma attacks so that you always exercise in a safe environment. One of the triggers that all asthma patients need to be wary of is cold temperatures.

Exercising in the rain or snow increases the risk of exercise-induced asthma attacks, so stick to indoor workouts when it is cold outside. If you must workout in the cold, always ensure that you have warm clothing and a scarf covering your mouth and nose to ensure that you only breathe in warm air.

Another common trigger you do not want in your exercise environment is pests like cockroaches, bedbugs, or rodents, particularly when you are exercising at home. Exposure to household pests can trigger severe attacks in asthma patients, which is why it is essential to perform regular inspections on your exercise area to keep them at bay. If you live in a city, make it a habit to check pollution levels before engaging in any form of outdoor exercise.

Come up with a safe workout routine

Take the time to create a workout routine that you can do safely without worrying about an asthma attack ruining it. The first thing on your workout routine should be a warm-up session. Warming up is crucial since it prepares your body for exercise, reducing the likelihood of triggering an asthma attack during exercise.

After the warm-up session, you can do exercises that offer short periods of activity with plenty of rest periods in between to avoid straining the lungs. Some of the best types of exercises for people with asthma include swimming, walking, biking, and weight lifting. After exercising, always end with a cool-down session to bring your heart rate down to normal levels.

Just because you have asthma, does not mean you cannot enjoy regular exercise. With the right preparation and guidance from your doctor, you can come up with a workout routine that keeps you fit and healthy without ever triggering an asthma attack.

Page Reference

If you quote information from this page in your work, then the reference for this page is:

  • PERKINS, S. (2020) Exercise and Asthma [WWW] Available from: [Accessed

About the Author

Sally Perkins is a professional freelance writer with many years' experience across many different areas. She made a move to freelancing from a stressful corporate job and loves the work-life balance it offers her. When not at work, Sally enjoys reading, hiking, spending time with her family, and travelling as much as possible.