Fitness regime for asthma sufferers

Exercising with asthma can seem an insurmountable challenge.  Have you been experiencing chest discomfort, coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath; and your medical expert diagnosed you with asthma? Do you think your life is now all about restrictions and precautions?

Well, then you are in for a happy surprise… you may continue exercising to keep yourself fit!  Read on to learn more. Exercising with asthma, am I insane? No. Apart from following regular medication regime, avoiding triggers and understanding symptoms you are perfectly able to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Exercising, eating a healthy diet and staying de-stressed are essential for your good health.

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Which exercise options do I have?

You may indulge in various fitness regimes depending upon your health, asthma control, environment and endurance level.

• Exercises which are not overtly exerting (low intensity) are ideal for people with asthma. Walking burns calories, and cycling, dancing, swimming and jogging all are great options for safe cardio workouts.

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High intensity exercises can still be performed, but only after consulting a medical practitioner. Some of the examples are aerobics, sprinting, biking uphill, martial arts, football, lawn tennis and many more activities.
• Strengthening exercises like weight lifting, push-ups, sit-ups, and yoga are all great options.  Pilates helps to improve muscle strengthening, and WatchFit provides a great introduction with this full-body at home pilates workout.  With all these exercises you should also seek professional advice before getting started.
• People with asthma need to take special care before and during any adventure sport such as mountaineering, scuba diving, and skiing.

Some key points to remember:

Always warm-up before and cool down after exercising by stretching or performing light exercises. Continue with the fitness session only if you feel comfortable after the warm up session.
• Keep a tab on the environmental triggers. Avoid an activity if you feel uncomfortable.
• Activities which can be performed at a comfortable environment and temperature are ideal for people with asthma.
• Gradually increase difficulty level of exercise. You should work on your stamina to improve exertion/tolerance levels.
• Avoid exercising if you are unwell.
• It is best to exercise when your asthma is under control.
• Be regular with medication.
• Stay hydrated, check out these tips on how much water to drink for weight loss.
• Keep your inhaler handy.
• Take special precaution when performing any outdoor activity to avoid pollens, dust, and deodorant fumes.
• Always share your medical history with the trainer/instructor.
• It is best to have a companion throughout the session.

If done with proper knowledge,exercising helps people with asthma stay active, strengthen muscles, de-stress and keep a check on the body weight. So, stay fit by exercising!

Written by: Priyanka Droga

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