First, it is vital to know what type of asthma a person has. Diagnosis by a specialist, such as Dr. Saadeh, is highly recommended. If a person's asthma is triggered only during exercise, that person is considered to have exercise-induced, mild intermittent asthma.
Dr. Saadeh contributed to an excellent article on the subject on the everydayhealth.com website. This link provides more information on exercise-induced asthma.
The following tips are helpful for exercising with asthma:
- Start gradually. A cautious, measured approach is recommended when one starts working out, in order to avoid exacerbation
- Know all triggers. When one knows what sets off exercise-induced symptoms, that person can time workouts to avoid those triggers. For example, studies indicate pollen counts are highest between 4 and 8 p.m., so if this trigger applies, that person should avoid running outside during those hours.
- Follow medication regimen. Compliance is the key to avoiding problems. Regular communication with an asthma specialist is vital.
- Try swimming. Moist, humid air seems best for exercising with asthma, so water workouts are recommended. (Swimmer and asthmatic Mark Spitz won multiple Olympic gold!)
The chronic lung disease known as Asthma causes
airway linings to become inflamed and swollen. The resulting
muscle spasms and secretions then restrict the flow of air out
of the lungs, making breathing difficult and sometimes frightening.
Asthma is relatively common, and the incidence
of the disease has grown in recent years. An estimated 12 million
Americans – including more than 4 million children – have
Symptoms may include difficulty breathing,
a tight feeling in the chest, coughing, and wheezing. Sometimes
a chronic cough is the only symptom, and many cases go undiagnosed.
Symptoms are most frequent at night and in the morning, but an
asthma episode can occur at any time. These may range from only
mild discomfort to life-threatening attacks in which breathing
The test below can help you determine whether
or not you might have asthma, and a trip to the doctor is in
Fortunately, an allergist can design a plan
using new medications and other treatments to manage the disease
by preventing severe symptoms in most patients and enabling them
to live normal, active lives. Once the doctor determines you do have asthma, an Asthma Action Plan is important. Download and print this document and keep it handy for quick reference.
The causes of asthma are not fully understood.
Nevertheless, there are several factors known to trigger an asthma
episode. These include:
to Allergens – substances that cause an allergic
reaction in some people, including pollen, dust, mold,
feathers, animal dander, and some foods.
Irritants in the Air – including smoke,
dirt, gases, and/or odors.
Respiratory Infections – such as colds,
bronchitis, sinusitis, flu or other illnesses.
Exercise – although people with asthma
can benefit from an exercise program with pre-treatment and proper
Emotional Stress – tense muscles and
shallow breathing may contribute.
Cold, windy weather – or sudden changes
in the weather.
Work with your doctor to develop an “Asthma
Action Plan.” This plan will help you
- How to avoid things that make asthma worse
- What medicine to take and when
- How to watch for asthma symptoms, such as waking during the
night, not being able to do normal activities, missing work
or school, using quick-relief medicine more than twice per
- When to get emergency help, such as when you have trouble
walking or talking due to asthma symptoms, or symptoms remain
the same or get worse despite the use of quick-relief medicine.
- When to visit your doctor (at least every six months).
Living with asthma can be frustrating, but
an active, fulfilling, healthy lifestyle is possible with proper
care and treatment.
The Test! Asthma
Life Quality Test