Exercise and Asthma

Asthma is a respiratory condition, marked by attacks of spasm in the bronchi of the lungs, causing difficulty in breathing. It is usually connected to allergic reaction or other forms of hypersensitivity. Triggers may vary from person to person, but some common triggers include: pollen or allergens, dust, cold air, changes in the weather, and physical exertion.

Asthma currently affects 2.3 million Australians. This is roughly 10% of the population. Asthma affects people of all ages, ethnic backgrounds and geographical locations.

Asthma may have varying degrees of impact on the physical, psychological and social wellbeing of people living with the condition. People with asthma are more likely to report a poor quality of life.

Managing Your Asthma

The main aims of asthma treatment are to:

• Keep symptoms under control.

• Prevent flare-ups or ‘attacks.’

• Keep the lungs as healthy as possible.

• Stop asthma from interfering with school or work.

• Help you or your child enjoy a full and active life.

All individuals with asthma should have a current action plan. This should detail how to manage your asthma when you are well, such as regular exercise. As well as what to do in the event of a flare up. This plan should outline all of your current asthma medications, and the dosage. The plan should be available to all people involved in your asthma management program.

Tips for Getting Active with Asthma

• Do a proper warm-up before exercising.

• Become as fit as possible – the fitter you are, the more you can exercise before asthma symptoms start.

• Avoid exercising in locations where there are high levels of pollens, dust, fumes or pollution.

• Exercise in a place that is warm and humid – avoid cold, dry air if possible.

• Try to breathe through your nose (not your mouth) when you exercise. This makes the air warm and moist when it reaches your lungs.

Before commencing an exercise program, consult one of our friendly Exercise Physiologists at Optimum Health Solutions. We can tailor an exercise program for your needs, to help you best manage your asthma. At Optimum we have an amazing product that measures inspiratory strength called Better Breathing. If you know anyone with asthma, this is a great program for helping them and they really should book in to get an assessment, to experience our Better Breathing program. This program is a great stepping stone to getting you back to a full exercise program.

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