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Entry for May 27, 2008

Can I exercise with Asthma?

Despite the fact that asthma may be brought on by aerobic activity, exercise may still be a desirable option for many asthmatics. Research indicates that as tolerance for physical exertion is built up over time, it is less likely that an asthmatic will experience an attack during exercise. And, in addition to reducing the risk of developing many other diseases, appropriate exercise can help asthmatics reduce stress, sleep better and feel more energized.

It might surprise you to know that even world-class athletes, such as Olympic gold medalist Jackie-Joyner Kersee, continue to compete after being diagnosed with asthma.

Have a thorough medical evaluation and obtain your doctor's permission before beginning any type of exercise program. This is an absolutely essential first step. Your physician may prescribe medications that might further aid in controlling your condition. You will need specific instructions on when to take the medication before exercising and how long the effects will last.

Once you have received clearance from your doctor to begin an exercise program, consider the following guidelines:

Take extra time to warm up before exercising. A prolonged period of low-level aerobic activity will help prepare your body for higher-intensity exercise.

Exercise toward the lower end of your target heart rate. Exercises such as walking or swimming are great for asthmatics because they are low intensity and may be done for longer periods of time. Those who wish to participate in higher-intensity exercise, such as running or fast-paced sports, should slowly increase intensity over time.

Rest when necessary and listen to what your body is telling you. Strength-training exercises are unlikely to cause an asthma attack if you rest between sets.

Avoid exercising in polluted environments, or in cold or dry air.

Don't rush through your cool down; extending it can help prevent the asthma attacks that occur immediately following an exercise session. A warm bath or shower may also help.





2008-05-27 11:56:49 GMT
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