Asthma is a chronic condition which causes obstruction of the airways. Asthma triggers vary with each person and will often include exercise, this is called Exercise-Induced Asthma (EIA).
Asthma is a chronic condition which causes obstruction of the airways. Asthma triggers vary with each person and will often include exercise, this is called Exercise-Induced Asthma (EIA).With EIA, it might make sense to avoid exercising altogether to reduce the risk of an Asthma attack. However, through taking certain measures and precautions, people with EIA can still reap the many benefits that physical activity and exercise provide to your overall health and well-being. In fact, cardiovascular exercise, such as walking, cycling and swimming, helps to improve your lung function and can actually reduce the severity of Asthma.
These measures and precautions that can be taken to ensure you keep yourself safe while exercising if you have Asthma include:
- Always have your reliever medication and spacer with you.
- Be aware of any other triggers that might be around, especially if you are exercising outside (pollen, dust, weather etc.)
- Take your reliever medication 15 minutes before warming up.
- Ensure that whoever is prescribing or supervising your exercise (such as a coach, instructor or Accredited Exercise Physiologist) is aware of your Asthma management plan.
- If you feel any asthma symptoms during exercise, stop immediately and take your reliever medication. If your symptoms completely subside, you may return to exercise however if they return, it is advised to finish your exercise session.
- If you are exercising for the first time, or returning to exercise after a break, ensure that you start with low intensity exercise and gradually increase your tolerance.
If you have EIA, and are still a little unsure or hesitant to exercise, an Accredited Exercise Physiologist can guide you through the process and tailor an exercise plan to suit your needs. They can also provide supervised exercise sessions to give you the confidence to ensure you aren’t placing yourself at any risk.
Accredited Exercise Physiologist
Reference: ‘Staying Active with Asthma” – Factsheet, Asthma Foundation Victoria, October 2014.