If you start coughing, wheezing or experiencing shortness of breath and tightening of the chest while you’re working out, you might be dealing with exercise-induced asthma. However, this shouldn’t stop you from being active in the future.
One in twelve Olympic athletes deals with this problem, but they still train and so should you. Therefore, you should always control your asthma with medication, and engage in exercise that will benefit your condition instead of making it worse.
Don’t Skip a Warm-Up
Warming up before an exercise is essential not only for those with exercise-induced asthma, but for everyone else as well. Five to ten minutes of walking and stretching will prepare your body for a more challenging activity and improve the flexibility of your body.
If you skip a warm-up, you could much easily experience shortness of breath, twist an ankle, strain a muscle or injure yourself even more.
According to research, people who had walked three times a week for 12 weeks improved their fitness levels and asthma control, but didn’t provoke an attack at all during their workout. With a five-minute warm-up, followed by a 30-minute walking exercise, they have managed to stay in shape without coughing, wheezing or experiencing any other symptoms of asthma.
Yoga is one of the best activities for people with exercise-induced asthma. Thanks to the breathing techniques, more areas of the lungs are activated, which contributes to better asthma control. What’s more, according to research, if you practice Hatha yoga for two-and-a-half hours a week, you’ll be able to cut down on asthma medication after only 2 months of exercising. Tai Chi is a martial art that also emphasizes breathing, so try taking that up as well, in order to stay in shape and control your asthma.
Swimming has been proven to be one of the best sports for asthmatics. When you swim, you breathe in humidified and warm air, which benefits your lungs. The horizontal position swimmers assume loosens the muscles in the lungs, preventing you from coughing and wheezing.
However, keep in mind that chlorine often triggers asthma, so stay away from pools with excessive chlorine.
Play Golf and Racquet Sports
Golf will both keep you away from an asthma attack and help you relax your mind. The combination of walking and alternating swings benefits the lungs, and calms down asthma symptoms. However, considering golf is played outside, be sure to play it only when pollen counts are low, because it can trigger an attack.
Tennis provides enough time to rest and hydrate between games, which makes it one of the best sports for those who have exercise-induced asthma. What’s more, you can set the pace of the game yourself, which will keep your asthma under control.
Stay Safe During a Workout
If you want to be active and keep asthma under control, you must take your medication regularly. Furthermore, even if you’ve had a few workouts without triggering an attack, always have your inhaler with you. If you like to exercise outside in cold weather, be sure to cover up your nose and mouth loosely with a scarf.
This will keep cold air away from your lungs and prevent attacks. If you live in an area where pollution is high, stick to indoor activities, and only exercise at your home or at the gym. It’s also important to notify other people you work out with that you have asthma, so they could help you in case your condition gets worse.
Just because you have asthma, it doesn’t mean you should stop working out. It’s important to engage in activities that won’t trigger an attack, follow all the necessary precautions, and you’ll be able to stay in shape even with exercise-induced asthma.