About half of FitSugar readers suffer from asthma, myself included, and it's great to hear that your condition doesn't stop you from working out. That said, there are ways you can make exercising safer and more pleasant, so check out my tips below.
- Exercise during times of the day when your breathing is at its best. If you tend to wake up not being able to breathe, then a pre-work run may not be the best idea for you.
- Don't forget the warm-up. Going right into a 10-mile bike ride may be too much for your lungs.
- Avoid exercise that makes you out of breath.
- Along the same lines, avoid extreme interval training, especially if you suffer from exercise-induced asthma. While moving at different paces is OK when it comes to your breathing, you don't want to move too fast so that you're huffing and puffing and taxing your respiratory system. Stick to consistent speeds, or if you like varying your speeds, just do so at a pace that your lungs can keep up with.
- Always keep water nearby to stay hydrated. It's also good to sip in case you start to wheeze or feel a tickle in your throat.
- Many people who suffer from asthma experience runny noses when exercising, so be sure to keep tissues on hand.
For other important tips
- For exercise-induced asthma, my doctor recommended that I take a puff of Albuterol (rescue inhaler) before exercise to open my airways and prevent an attack. Talk to your doctor to see if they recommend that for you as well.
- If cold weather triggers your asthma, exercise indoors in the Winter months. If you're determined to exercise outside, start off slow. Run a few minutes outdoors at first, and gradually build up your time to let your lungs get used to it. Also, wearing a neck warmer, scarf, or other protective layer over your nose and mouth may prevent symptoms, since it keeps the air you're breathing moist. Dry air tends to cause a burning feeling and can trigger an attack.
- Don't avoid exercise. If you're worried that working out may trigger an attack, find a low-impact type of movement that's easy on your lungs such as walking or yoga.
If you have any other fitness tips for your fellow asthma suffers, please share them below.