46 percent of individuals diagnosed with asthma report that they limit their sports activities and 32 percent limit normal physical exertion.
Set Yourself Up For Success…
If exercise triggers your asthma symptoms:
- Follow your doctor’s orders regarding your medication and pre-medicate prior to exercise and/or sports activities.
- Drink plenty of water, which helps to thin the mucus you produce while exercising.
- If you will be exercising outside, check the air quality and pollen count. On days when the pollen count is high and the air quality is poor, you may want to exercise indoors.
- Schedule your outdoor exercise to avoid lawn maintenance such as grass cutting.
- Choose a sport that can be adjusted to fit your physical abilities. Golf is one option. Golf carts make it easy to get around and carry emergency items.
- If you’re a walker but hot and/or cold weather triggers your asthma, pick an air-conditioned mall or gym to walk in. During the cold winter months, protect your lungs by wearing one of the Respiratory Alliance’s free cold weather masks.
- If you play competitive sports or you are on a sports team, make sure that you have an asthma action plan and that your teammates and coach know exactly what to do in the event of an asthma attack.
- If you enjoy swimming, check the water temperature and amount of chlorine in the pool. For some, cold water and high levels of chlorine are asthma triggers.
Keep yourself in good general health to improve lung function. Don’t avoid exercise — just know your limits, know your triggers and have an asthma action plan in place. This will help you enjoy the highest quality of life possible.