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Exercise Tips for Asthma Sufferers

Don't Get Winded: Exercise Tips For Asthma Sufferers

About half of POPSUGAR Fitness 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 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.

Image Source: Thinkstock
Join The Conversation
zeze zeze 7 years
I hate working out in part because of my asthma, i really hat that feeling of not being able to get air from my mouth into my chest like it feels like there is something blocking it, it literally makes me go crazy if it lasts too long.
Silvers567 Silvers567 7 years
I suffer from asthma, but never use an inhaler. I am an avid runner and train with intense intervals. I do run out of breath sometimes, especially in the winter when it;s so dry outside. The key is to know you WILL catch your breath (opening a window helps). Most people will not die in an asthma attack, and they go away if you don;t panic. Exercise is amazing for improving your lung function, so unless you have a severe case of asthma, do push yourself as much as you can!
Yogaforlife Yogaforlife 7 years
I had undiagnosed asthma for years. I really recommend getting it checked out if you think you have it or if you have it and your symptoms are not controlled. I never thought I'd be able to run but after getting my asthma under control, I'm finally able to start running. The runny nose while exercising kills me!
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