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How to Stay Active Despite Asthma

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Staying active is an essential part of maintaining your physical and mental health. It may seem as though asthma is a good reason to avoid or stop exercising. If you suffer from shortness of breath, wheezing, or other disruptive symptoms, you might be reluctant to get back into a fitness routine. However, exercise for asthma can help you improve your heart and lung function while enhancing the overall quality of your life. 

At Internal Medicine and Pediatric Clinic in New Albany, MS, we offer expert care and diagnostics tests to help you receive the most effective treatment. Our team specializes in controlling your symptoms, allowing you to enjoy the benefits of a proper exercise program. 

What is asthma?

Asthma is a condition that causes inflammation and swelling in your lungs. If you suffer from frequent respiratory infections like the flu, you may be at higher risk for asthma. Patients whose parents have asthma are also more likely to develop the condition. Coming into contact with airborne allergens like pollen or dust can make your symptoms more severe. 

There is no cure for asthma, but you can manage your symptoms by leading a healthy lifestyle. Here are some common symptoms associated with asthma:

  • Wheezing 
  • Shortness of breath
  • Tight feeling in your chest 
  • Persistent coughing 
  • Feelings of anxiety or panic 

One of our experts diagnoses your asthma by performing lung function tests. They begin by listening to your lungs and conducting a spirometry test. The test determines how much air is going in and out of your lungs. Patients with asthma are encouraged to exercise free from worrying about whether their symptoms be. 

Tips for staying active with asthma 

Before committing to an exercise routine, consult with one of our professionals about treatment plan options. One of our doctors can give you lifestyle modification advice and medications that manage your symptoms. Adding moderate exercise can help you strengthen your lungs, making everyday activities easier to complete. It can also boost your immune systems and certain chemicals in your body that combat depression and stress. 

Some tips for exercising with asthma include:

  • Warming up with stretches 
  • Breathing in through your nose 
  • Avoid exercising while sick 
  • Incorporating a cool-down routine 
  • Do not overexert yourself 
  • Exercise indoors when pollen or air pollution is high
  • Wear a protective cover over your nose and mouth in cold weather. 

Based on your symptoms, one of our specialists prescribes medication to help open your airways. The medication is available in the form of an inhaler that you may need to use daily or on an as-needed basis. Taking your asthma medication along with working out for about 30 minutes four to five days a week, can help you maintain a healthy lifestyle. 

The best physical activities for people with asthma 

Before committing to an exercise program, the doctor helps you decide what activities are best for you. If you’re taking asthma medication, you should use it before beginning exercise. Patients who warm-up before their activities have higher lung functions and faster recovery times. Additionally, you should always exercise at a level and speed that is appropriate for you to avoid experiencing adverse symptoms. 

Volleyball, gymnastics, baseball, and wrestling are good examples of activities suitable for patients with asthma. Walking, biking, hiking, and swimming are all great ways to enhance upper-body strength and improve lung function. Some sports can trigger asthma symptoms, including soccer, long-distance running, basketball, and cold-weather sports like ice hockey. While many people are still able to take part in these activities fully, they can pose certain challenges. 

If symptoms of asthma are getting in the way of physical activity, call our office or book an appointment online. 

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