Best Exercises for Asthma: Work out to improve your lung function

Breathing exercises a body workout, they are a good way to keep your lungs fit

Breathing exercises are a good way to keep your lungs fit

Photo credit: shutterstock

What you need to know:

  • Exercising safely not only helps improve lung function but can also reduce symptoms and improve overall health.
  • For people with asthma, yoga can be a valuable tool for managing symptoms and improving overall health.


Millions of people all over the world suffer from asthma. While there are different treatments available, one of the best remedies for asthma may be exercise. If you have ever had an exercise-triggered episode of asthma symptoms, you might find this difficult to believe.

Several scientific studies, however, have shown that exercising safely not only helps improve lung function but can also reduce symptoms and improve overall health. Unlike other medications, working out also offers long-term health benefits that could protect you against other illnesses.

Here are the best exercises that are not only safe for asthmatics but also help manage the symptoms

Yoga

Yoga focuses on breath control, flexibility, and relaxation. Studies have shown that yoga can improve lung function and reduce the severity of asthma attacks. The breathing exercises are credited as the main aspect of Yoga that improves lung function. In addition, yoga helps to reduce stress and anxiety, which can trigger asthma symptoms. For people with asthma, yoga can be a valuable tool for managing symptoms and improving overall health.

Swimming

The humid air around the pool can soothe and open up the airways. Also, swimming involves controlled breathing, which strengthens muscles of the breathing airways, increasing lung capacity. Swimming is one of the greatest whole-body workouts and helps to improve overall fitness and health.

With swimming, however, be cautious. Swimming in cold water, or in cold weather conditions can trigger asthma attacks for people with cold-induced asthma. Also, some pools have a high amount of chlorine that can irritate some asthmatics when swimming underwater. If you notice such irritations, get out of the pool.

Running

Running is a great way to get some cardio in, but it can be tough on Asthma sufferers. However, with the proper precautions and by working up to it slowly, running can improve asthma. Start with short distances and low speed. During the first days, you can combine running, jogging, and walking. Running helps to build up endurance and strengthens the muscles used for breathing. Additionally, running outdoors gives you fresh air, which can also help to open your airways.

If you are running in cold conditions, cover your nose with a light scarf to warm the air you breathe. Also, be sure to warm up properly before starting your run. A ten-minute walk is a great way to warm up your muscles and get your heart rate going.

Cycling

Cycling is another cardio exercise that can help people with Asthma. It is a low-impact activity that helps to build endurance without putting too much strain on the body. Additionally, it is a great way to get some fresh air and Vitamin D from the sun.

Like running, if you are cycling in cold conditions, cover your nose and mouth to warm the air you breathe. Also, start slowly and work your way up to longer distances and higher speeds. As you start, avoid riding on steep paths. Level terrain allows you to control your speed and doesn't strain your lung muscles.

Breathing Exercises

Although you may not consider breathing exercises a body workout, they are a good way to keep your lungs fit. They are often incorporated into other exercises such as Yoga and Pilates, but you can do them alone.

When doing breathing exercises, you actively control your breathing movements. This strengthens your lungs and other muscles involved in the intake of air. Practiced over time, the exercises improve lung function and manage asthma attacks. There are different breathing exercises you can do, and they can be done anywhere at any time. You can get a tutorial video to guide you.

You can do other exercises too

These may be the safest exercises for asthmatics, but you can also do other activities such as weightlifting, rowing, and playing tennis. Use the above exercises to build your endurance, and strength then add other exercises you desire. With the guidance of your doctor, you can also participate in sports. Remember to take the necessary medications, warm up properly, start slowly, and avoid cold weather conditions when possible. Finally, don't try to push through if you start having symptoms of asthma.

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