Asthma symptoms can be provoked or worsened by exercise, which is why many asthma sufferers avoid physical activity or sport, leading to reduced cardiovascular fitness and increased risk of other chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and obesity. Lower fitness also lowers the threshold of asthma exacerbation, meaning that it takes less exercise to aggravate the asthma. This leads to a vicious cycle of asthma flare-ups and deconditioning.
Tips for exercising safely with asthma:
• When starting a new exercise program, begin slowly and avoid high intensities or long durations until your fitness improves.
• Manage any constriction of the airways with medications prescribed for your condition such as puffers.
• Begin exercise sessions with a 10-15 minute warm-up to reduce the likelihood of EIB during the exercise session.
• If you are experiencing an exacerbation of your asthma symptoms you should not commence exercise but postpone it for another day when your airway function has improved.
• Avoid exercise in cold environments or areas with high levels of airborne allergens or pollution.
• Avoid exercise in chlorinated pools if this is known to exacerbate your symptoms.
• Be aware of the possibility of a delayed asthma attack after you have finished your exercise session and ensure you have access to prescribed medication such as your puffer during this time.
• If you have had asthma attacks in the past that have been brought on by exercise and did not resolve easily with your asthma medication, you may need to undergo formal exercise testing in a specialised medical facility such as a respiratory clinic.
Our Exercise Physiologists at Glebe Physio are professionals who are trained in the safe and effective prescription of exercise for people with conditions such as asthma.
At Glebe Physio, we offer one-on-one appointments to individually assess your situation and tailor an exercise program for you, as well as fully supervised classes for those who enjoy exercising in a group environment.