How to Stay Active When You Have Asthma

Asthma is a common medical condition affecting over 25 million Americans. Because it limits your breathing and is sometimes induced by exercise, navigating an exercise routine while you have asthma can sometimes be tricky.

At Nashville Family Medical Clinic, Dr. Said Attoussi and his team are here to provide you with the best in medical care. That’s why they’ve made this helpful guide to staying active while you have asthma. 

What is asthma? 

With asthma, your airways narrow and swell, producing excess mucus. This condition can make it difficult for you to breathe, cause coughing, and trigger wheezing. The severity of the condition depends on the individual. For some, it’s only a minor problem, while for others it can result in life-threatening asthma attacks. 

Asthma can become worse around smoke or impure air, respiratory viruses like those causing colds and flus, allergens like pollen and dust, and even exercise. Asthma is usually treated by tracking your breathing, recognizing symptoms before an attack, and using medications through a quick-relief inhaler. 

Staying active while you have asthma

Exercising often causes you to breathe harder. This leads to water loss from the lungs and a cooling of your lung’s lining. A combination of the water loss and rapid cooling can trigger asthma symptoms. With exercise, asthma symptoms can either occur once you begin exercising or soon after you stop. 

To ensure your safety while exercising, you’ll want to talk to Dr. Attoussi about creating a safe and effective exercise routine that won’t exacerbate your asthma.

Tips for exercising with asthma 

Keep your medication around — You’ll want to keep your inhaler handy. We may even recommend that you take your medication prior to any physical activity to help prevent any attacks. 

Find exercises that are right for you — You’ll want to partake in activities that incorporate periods of inactivity, like baseball. Swimming is also a helpful exercise because of the moist air that keeps symptoms at bay. Be sure to take rest periods if working out on gym equipment.  

Warm up — With asthma, you’ll want to slowly introduce your body to physical activity. So, be sure to warm up prior to working out and keep a good cool-down routine as well. 

Use caution when exercising outdoors — Because asthma can be triggered by outdoor allergens like pollen, dust, and mold, you’ll want to make sure that you’re aware of your environment when working out outdoors. You’ll also want to check air quality forecasts, as days with higher pollution can be quite harmful to your asthma. 

Asthma doesn’t have to discourage you from having a fully active lifestyle. At Nashville Family Medical Clinic, we cover all of your primary care needs. Call us or book an appointment on our website today.   

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