Physical activity (PA) and exercise in Asthma, are integral to health and maintenance, and improve treatment outcomes. However, exercise is one of the known triggers of an asthma attack. Therefore, it is important to keep the following points in mind while including Physical exercise in one’s daily routine if suffering from Asthma or any other Bronchial disease:
- Aerobic exercises, such as walking or exercises that use large muscle groups, are recommended instead of running or cycling.
- Always consult your treating physician before starting on any exercise regime as well as timing your inhaler medication before the start of PA (usually 15 minutes prior). Take all your medications regularly and keep rescue inhaler medication prescribed to you, handy during PA.
- All exercises should be done only 2 hours after meals, or in the morning before breakfast.
- Perform a prolonged aerobic warm-up and cool-down of 15 minutes each (with light stretching, slower walking speed or activity at low intensity).
- Never start or stop intense exercise suddenly. Stop to rest whenever shortness of breath is experienced.
- Breathe through the nose as much as possible when exercising.
- The optimal daily duration of exercise is 20-30 minutes of continuous activity, however, when starting an exercise program this duration goal needs to be achieved very gradually. Start with reduced duration twice or thrice a week, increasing over a month to an alternate day regime (for example increase walking distance little by little every day).
- On poor air quality days, avoid outdoor PA and exercise. PA should always be avoided in high pollution areas, such as within 50 feet of a road, factory, or field, and when pollution levels tend to be highest, (in midday or afternoon). When exercising indoors, keep windows and doors closed to reduce allergen and irritant exposure.
- PA should not be undertaken if asthma symptoms are not well controlled or if you have a cold or respiratory infection.
- Wear appropriate footwear and adequate protection for weather and avoid extreme weather conditions, including windy, rainy, icy, or cold days for outdoor PA.
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