Q:
I have asthma. It's not terrible but enough to be concerned about.

I also feel the need to exercise
but I heard that it could make my asthma worse. Could you shed some light on
this?

A:
It was long thought that asthmatics should avoid exercise because it induced
attacks. Recent research shows that certain kinds of exercise can actually benefit
many asthma sufferers. And some studies show that inactivity can make your asthma
worse.

Vigorous
exercise can induce asthma in about 15% of asthmatics.
The
key is controlling the exercises and the exercise environment.
Exercise
that starts slowly and gently builds intensity over time seems to work the best.

Here are some rules of thumb:

The first step is to check
with your doctor to make sure you are a candidate for an exercise program. Some
doctors prescribe a couple of puffs of your inhaler before exercise.
 
 

   
     
   
 


Many
Asthmatics begin with an exercise program of light aerobic or walking movements
while seated in a chair.

 

 

 

Others
start with easy aerobics, walking or gentle swimming. (Preferably in an outdoor
pool, lake or ocean because pool chemicals aggravate asthma indoors) for about
5-10 minutes. If you experience discomfort slow down or stop.

 

 



Used pursed breathing when exercising. Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth with lip pursed as though whistling.

 

 

Cold air can induce asthma.
If you exercise in the cold, cover your nose and mouth with a scarf or bandana
to warm the air before you breath it.

Over time you should be able
to build up to about a half hour of moderately intense exercise.

With a little patience and
persistence, many asthmatics can lead normally active lives and may eventually
reduce the severity of their Asthma.

Looking
for a good resource on Asthma?

Check
out: Life and Breath: The Breakthrough Guide to the Latest Strategies for Fighting
Asthma and Other Respiratory Problems -At Any Age by
Neil Schachter, MD
at
www.amazon.com

About the Author

Mirabai Holland M.F.A. is one of the leading authorities in the Health & Fitness industry, and
public health activist who specializing in preventive and
rehabilitative exercise for women.
Her Moving Free™ approach to exercise
is designed to provide a movement experience so pleasant it doesn’t feel like
work.
www.MovingFree.com

Send
your Moving Free with Mirabai questions to:
askmirabai@movingfree.com