Easier Exercises for Those with Asthma

I Can Has AsthmaHello! I think it’s time for me to introduce myself as the admin of this blog. My name is Alyssa, and I want to tell you a little more about me. I have had mild asthma since I was a baby, so exercise is a little tough for me. Growing up, people always told me that most kids grow out of it, but they were wrong. About 85% of children who “outgrow” asthma have it return later in life. Having asthma makes exercising a little more difficult! But there are still several ways to exercise even though it can be risky to push yourself.

One of my favorite ways to exercise is walking. Whether it’s spending some time on a treadmill or the great outdoors, it’s one of the safest ways for me to exercise. My favorite machine is the Nordictrack X9i Incline Trainer. It inclines up to 40%, so even though I’m not going very fast, I can still get a better treadmill workout. Using an incline trainer burns more calories than a regular treadmill (click here for the proof!).

If you need to, exercise in spurts. There’s nothing wrong with walking a block and stopping for a water break. The most important exercising tip is listening to your body. You want to get your heart rate up without compromising your breathing.

Another favorite exercise of mine is swimming. For some reason, highly chlorinated water makes my asthma worse, so I use outdoor pools since they usually have a lower concentration. Plus it provides an opportunity to get some Vitamin D! Just remember to wear sunscreen. I love swimming because it allows me to have a low-risk, high-resistance workout, and I can stop whenever I need to. I also recommend keeping a rescue inhaler right by the side of the pool for emergencies.

Hiking is another great way to exercise, but certain precautions need to be taken. Make sure you are hiking with a friend who knows how to help you if you have an asthma attack. Also try to hike in areas that are close to a hospital. Make sure you have lots of water with you and drink it. I’ve found that cough drops can help with asthma symptoms too. But the most important tip is the one I listed before: listen to your body. If you feel your breath quickening, stop walking and take a water break. Use your inhaler if you feel like your body needs it.

So here’s the general idea: find simple exercises that won’t push you too hard but allow for an abrupt break, if necessary. Always exercise with a buddy that knows how to help you in case of an asthma attack. Shoot for exercises that get your heart rate up without significantly affecting your breathing. And most importantly, listen to your body. You can do this!