Exercising can be difficult if you suffer from asthma. However, physical activity is necessary for maintaining a healthy state, and having asthma should not prevent you from participating in such activities. You can exercise safely and without triggering asthma symptoms if you are able to master the appropriate breathing techniques.
How to Exercise with Asthma in 7 ways
In this article, we will go over some helpful tips on how to exercise with asthma and different breathing techniques that will make it easier for you to breathe while you are exercising.
Consult with Your Doctor
Before starting any exercise program, it’s important to talk to your doctor. Your doctor can advise you on the types of exercise that are safe for you, and can also prescribe medications that can help you control your asthma symptoms during exercise.
Warming up before exercising is essential for people with asthma. A good warm-up will help you gradually increase your heart rate, breathing rate, and blood flow to your muscles, and will also help you avoid sudden changes in temperature, which can trigger asthma symptoms.
Use Your Inhaler
Using your inhaler before exercising can help prevent asthma symptoms during your workout. Inhaling bronchodilators, such as albuterol, can help open up your airways and make it easier for you to breathe. Make sure to follow your doctor’s instructions for using your inhaler.
Use Breathing Techniques
Breathing techniques can help you breathe easier during exercise and reduce the risk of asthma symptoms. Some useful breathing techniques include:
- Diaphragmatic breathing: This technique involves breathing in through your nose and exhaling through your mouth while contracting your diaphragm. This helps you use your diaphragm to take deeper breaths, which can increase your lung capacity and reduce asthma symptoms.
- Pursed lip breathing: This technique involves breathing in through your nose and exhaling through pursed lips as if you were blowing out a candle. This helps to slow down your breathing and keep your airways open, making it easier to breathe.
- Nasal breathing: This technique involves breathing in through your nose and exhaling through your nose. This can help warm and humidify the air you breathe, reducing the risk of asthma symptoms triggered by cold, dry air.
Monitor Your Breathing
Monitoring your breathing during exercise can help you identify when you need to slow down or take a break. If you feel short of breath or wheezy, take a break and use your inhaler if necessary. Don’t push yourself too hard, and remember that it’s okay to take breaks when you need them.
Choose the Right Exercise
Some exercises are more likely to trigger asthma symptoms than others. High-intensity exercises, such as running, can be particularly challenging for people with asthma. Instead, consider low-intensity exercises, such as walking, swimming, or yoga. These exercises can still provide a good workout without putting too much strain on your lungs.
Cooling down after exercise is just as important as warming up. A good cool-down will help you gradually lower your heart rate and breathing rate, and can also help prevent muscle soreness. It’s important to continue using your breathing techniques during the cool-down phase.
Even if you have asthma, you should still exercise regularly because it is essential for maintaining good health. You can exercise safely and without triggering asthma symptoms if you use the right breathing techniques and follow the advice in this article. Don’t forget to consult your primary care physician before beginning any form of physical activity, and always pay attention to what your body is telling you and stop working out when it tells you to.