Breathe Easy

Exercise and asthma may seem incompatible, and it is true that asthma may become triggered by physical activity. However, if used in the proper manner, exercise can improve the symptoms of asthma. Think of exercise as rehabilitation for the lungs; in order to help strengthen your internal muscles, continuous repetition is needed.

Asthma is a respiratory condition caused by mucus within the lung’s airways. This build up causes internal stress and inflammation that can restrict airflow. Since those airways are already excessively inflamed, it leaves the lungs more susceptible to triggers, more commonly known as asthma attacks. Some symptoms include wheezing, shortness of breath, and coughing. These attacks may be caused by weather, dust, chemicals, or pets. Here are some exercises that, if practiced correctly, can improve your asthma conditions.


Swimming

This full body exercise is one of the best physical activities for asthma. With the body subjected to constant movement, it provides the lungs with an opportunity to build muscle. Pace yourself to prevent over exerting your lungs, but maintaining a constant motion with water’s resistant nature can be beneficial. A common trigger for asthma is barren air; being surrounded by warm, moisture-filled air provides a safe breathing environment for individuals with asthma. If you are in shape, asthma symptoms are less easily triggered than when you are out of shape.

Yoga

Yoga may be the friendliest exercise for asthma because anyone can participate in it. People of all ages are able to practice different stretches and postures on their own levels. Even five minutes a day of yoga can combat the effects of asthma. Breathing exercises not only improve lung capacity, but also soothe the mind. Yoga teaches you to become conscious of your breathing while creating a natural and balanced breathing pattern. This exercise may decrease the use of an inhaler if practiced regularly.

Golf

Golf is considered one of the most mental sports today. With its emphasis on making mindful decisions, golf is not as physically taxing as other exercises. Constant deep breaths help maintain a certain level of calmness on the course, which is helpful for a successful round. Professional golfer Tommy Bolt once said, “The mind messes up more shots than the body.” This mindfulness of breath helps asthma as well, but be sure to check for pollen levels before heading out to the course.

Biking

Asthma is surprisingly common among several elite athletes. Professional cyclist Simon Yates has suffered from breathing complications throughout most of his life. It is common for biking to serve as a great way to improve heart functionality and lung capacity. It is important to avoid heavily polluted areas as well as cold weather when cycling.

Walking

Sometimes we overlook the simplest exercises that provide huge improvements. Walking is a great way to ease your way into a healthier lifestyle. Studies show that walking at least three times a week for over 10 minutes can improve asthmatic effects. Be sure to pace yourself while taking deep breaths!


Although exercise is a great way to improve asthma, it is important to speak with a physician before participating in different workouts. A full diagnosis of the ins and outs of your personal breathing condition will provide more clarity. Try to avoid high endurance exercises to maintain stable breaths. When approached correctly, exercise can help you get one step closer to better breathing.


Written by: Dominic Ligon

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