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.
When it comes to asthma and appetite, doctors and dietitians worry most about patients who eat too much, shun exercise for fear of becoming breathless, and end up being overweight.
But in a small minority of patients, poorly controlled asthma can leave them too breathless and fatigued to eat properly. Furthermore, a few asthma medications can cause upset stomachs or thrush infections in the mouth, leading to poor appetite.
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.
What Should I Do to Control My Asthma When I Exercise?
Before starting an exercise program, talk to your doctor. He or she will help you decide what activities are best for you. Your asthma action plan will tell you what to do before exercise and if you have symptoms during exercise.
Maintaining an active lifestyle is important for both physical and mental health. Remember: Asthma is not a reason to avoid exercise. With proper diagnosis and the most effective treatment, you should be able to enjoy the benefits of an exercise program without experiencing asthma symptoms.
If you have any questions, talk to your doctor.
What Do I Do if I Have an Asthma Attack While Exercising?
If you begin to experience asthma symptoms during exercise, stop and follow the instructions in your asthma action plan. Keep your rescue inhaler handy, and use it as directed as soon as you have symptoms. If your symptoms are not getting better, call for emergency medical assistance.