If you are an adult or an older child with asthma, you by now understand your limitations and have set realistic goals regarding your health, exercise, and wellness routines. You aren’t letting asthma slow you down.
But what about adults or parents of children who have recently been diagnosed with asthma? There is still some uncertainty and concern, especially with regard to exercise.
One of the most common questions asked about asthma is whether it is safe to exercise without causing an asthma attack. The answer is a resounding yes – as a matter of fact, exercise for asthmatics is encouraged!
But before you set out to run your first marathon or sign up for that spinning class, there are certain things you need to keep in mind in order to ensure that your physical activities are beneficial, not a hindrance.
How Exercise Benefits Asthma
When you exercise, every part of your body benefits. The same is true for asthmatics. Exercise not only keeps you in shape and improves your mood, but the more you exercise the less chance you will have of having an asthma attack.
In fact, exercise:
- Strengthens your heart and lungs, making your body stronger and less susceptible to flare-ups.
- Improves your immune system, so if your body is triggered by an allergen, the flare-ups will be less intense.
- Helps control weight, helping your cardiovascular system to function more efficiently. In fact, obesity is a risk factor for developing asthma.
- Stretches your lungs and bronchial tubes, thereby reducing resistance to breathing and inflammation.
Know Your Asthma Triggers
The irony of having “exercise-induced asthma” is not lost on most longtime asthmatics. The theory is that exercise actually exacerbates asthma, which is not the case. Triggers may cause an asthmatic to have an attack while exercising, but exercise itself does not cause asthma.
Asthmatics know what triggers an attack and are very well prepared for it. Parents of asthmatics have mapped out scenarios to ensure their child is safe and prepared for sports and activities. Whether it is having an allergy test to find out what you may be allergic to, or keeping a journal of things that have set you off, knowing your triggers can help you prevent an attack before it starts.
Make It Known to Others
While asthma is extremely common, athletes (both child and adult) don’t want to be seen as having a handicap that could either put them at an advantage or disadvantage. But keeping quiet about your asthma is not a good idea. Be sure your trainer or your child’s coach or gym teacher knows of the condition.
If you can’t keep an inhaler with you on the playing field or in your pocket, be sure your trainer, coach, or teacher knows where it is in case it is needed in an emergency. Having open communications with your athletic trainers and coaches – as well as school nurses and teachers – and having your most current physical on file, will ensure that in case of emergency, everyone is prepared.
Allergy Doctors in Northeast Ohio
No one likes to sit on the sidelines due to a silent health condition. If you or your child has asthma, you probably consider it to be a challenge to be overcome.
Your family’s allergist is your partner in managing and treating asthma. The experts here at Wooster Community Hospital can help you understand asthma, medications, and methods of managing the condition.
Contact us today by calling our team at (330) 263-8144 to make an appointment. We look forward to being the healthcare partner of you and your family!