Exercise -Induced Asthma (EIA) attacks can be triggered when participating in certain physical activities that are exertive or strenuous in nature. However, this should not discourage asthmatics from exercising. In fact exercise along with proper medical management is encouraged to help maintain a normal and healthy lifestyle. An added benefit of exercise is it can help in increasing lung capacity, which improves breathing.
If asthmatics choose to exercise, it is advised that they know their physical limitations and engage in activities that will not aggravate attacks. Activities that are lengthy, vigorous, conducted on freshly mowed fields and played in cold or dry air – such as ice hockey or skiing are usually not recommended.
Exercises that are asthma-friendly include: swimming, walking, lifting weights, golf, bicycling and yoga. These activities are often recommended because they allow control in breathing, they can be performed in an air-controlled environment or combine both short activities with long workouts.
There are several precautions asthmatics should follow or keep in mind before participating in any form of exercise. Some of which include:
- Having an inhaler or prescribed medication on hand.
- Warming up before exercising.
- Doing breathing exercises before and after working out.
- Taking into account pollen levels –if activity is performed outdoors.
- Avoiding pools with too much chlorine. Pools that have a heavy chlorine smell tend to have excessive chlorine.
- If you must exercise when it is cold outside use a scarf or wear a mask to cover up your nose and mouth.
Asthmatics can enjoy the benefits of exercise by following the recommendations of a physician, managing their medication and being aware of limitations. If you are experiencing difficulty breathing while participating in strenuous activities, you should consult a pulmonologist for a complete respiratory evaluation. Please call 718-206-6742 to schedule an appointment with a pulmonologist at Jamaica Hospital.
All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.