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Asthma Health Center

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Exercise and Asthma

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Is It Safe to Exercise if I Have Asthma?

One of the goals of asthma treatment is to help you maintain a normal and healthy lifestyle, which includes exercise and other physical activities. Following your medications by taking medications as prescribed by your doctor, avoiding triggers, and monitoring your symptoms and lung function will help you achieve this goal.

If asthma symptoms prevent you from participating fully in activities, talk to your asthma doctor. A small change in your asthma action plan may be all that is needed to provide asthma relief during exercise or activity.

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Stress and Asthma

When stress levels start to creep upward -- whether it's over bills, work, or your kids -- jam-packed calendar -- asthma symptoms can kick into overdrive. As the wheezing and coughing gets worse, your health becomes one more reason to worry. Asthma and anxiety make for a vicious circle, and one that can spiral downward quickly. "Asthma is triggered by many things, and one of them is stress," says Pramod Kelkar, MD, a fellow with the American Academy of AsthmaAllergy and Immunology (AAAAI). "So...

Read the Stress and Asthma article > >

What Types of Exercise Are Best for People With Asthma?

Activities that involve short, intermittent periods of exertion, such as volleyball, gymnastics, baseball, and wrestling, are generally well tolerated by people with symptoms of asthma.

Activities that involve long periods of exertion, such as soccer, distance running, basketball, and field hockey, may be less well tolerated. Also, cold-weather sports, such as ice hockey, cross-country skiing, and ice-skating, may pose challenges. However, many people with asthma are able to participate fully in these activities.

Swimming, which is a strong endurance sport, is generally well tolerated by many people with asthma because it is usually performed while breathing warm, moist air. It is also an excellent activity for maintaining physical fitness.

Other beneficial activities for people with asthma include both outdoor and indoor biking, aerobics, walking, and running on a treadmill.

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