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Dr. Andrew Rynne
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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Exp 50 years

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Article Home Adult and Senior Health Right exercises for people with asthma

Right exercises for people with asthma

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Asthma, is a condition affecting the respiratory system. Asthma and exercise cannot be ignored. Precaution should be taken when exercising. . As a result of increased activity in the respiratory system, an asthma attack can be triggered. Poor breathing techniques can also aggravate the symptoms of asthma. Following the do?s and don?ts of exercises in asthma can help.

 

Introduction

Asthma, is a condition affecting the respiratory system. The respiratory system is the second most important system in the body, next to cardiovascular system. Asthma and exercise cannot be ignored. Exercise is very important part of one's life, as it gives the body energy and increases the metabolic rate.

Precaution should be taken when exercising, if you have asthma, as you do not want to trigger an asthma attack.

Doctor's advice should be sought for advice on the kind of exercises to get involved in. When exercising, the lungs, require more air supply due to an increased activity in the body; heart rate also increases; more oxygen is required in the body. As a result of this increased activity in the respiratory system, an asthma attack can be triggered.

Moderate exercise should be done. An asthma patient should do the exercises advised by the doctor only, as this will lower the chances of one having an attack. Exercise is a very important part of everyone's lifestyle and if an asthma patient does not exercise frequently, his body fat and cholesterol may start building up around the major organs including the heart and the lungs; leading to other medical problems such as obesity, blood pressure and cardiac arrest.

Exercise in asthma can be made easier by taking some asthma medication before exercising (known as pretreatment). Albuterol is a very good option for this.

Poor breathing techniques can also aggravate the symptoms of asthma. Breathing exercises involve manipulation of the breathing pattern and include deep breathing, relaxation sessions and other exercises, which when done regularly and properly, will provide a simple self control by asthma patients.

Breathing exercises can be done with a minimal amount of perseverance and energy, and necessary control of the respiratory muscles can be aquired, thereby improving the condition to a large extent.

Aims of breathing exercises should be:

  • to get back to the natural, automatic diaphragmatic breathing, instead of the thoracic type of breathing
  • concentrate on exhalation especially on commencement of an asthma attack.
  • increase the flexibility of the chest wall muscles and to relax the accompanying muscles of the respiratory system.
  • correct other commonly associated problems with chronic asthma.

Exercises to be done in asthma:  

Exercises  involving deep breathing and use of the arm and chest muscles.

Certain meditation or yoga especially pranayam exercises which involve deep breathing help control asthma to a large extent. There are eight kinds of pranayam that people with asthma can do.

Common sports, that are less likely to precipitate or aggravate asthma are: walking, jogging, hiking, golf, gymnastic, volleyball, wrestling and short track and field events.

Swimming, a strong endurance sport, is generally very well tolerated by people with      asthma as it is usually performed in a warm, moist air environment.

 

Exercises to be avoided in asthma: 

Endurance sports, like long-distance running and cycling and those requiring extended energy output, like soccer and basketball, baseball, football are more challenging for people with asthma.

Cold-weather endurance sports like cross-country skiing or ice hockey should also be avoided.