Asthma is a common chronic lung condition that is characterized by coughing, tightening of the chest, shortness of breath, and breathing accompanied by a wheezing sound. It is usually triggered by a person's hypersensitivity or allergic reaction. As such, there is a general tendency for it to occur in people who are environmentally or genetically predisposed to the ailment.
One of the common misconceptions that asthma sufferers have is that exercise is already taboo for them because of their condition. On the contrary however, suffering from asthma should not prevent one from exercising. There are ways to get in shape through exercise even for people with asthma.
The key to being able to enjoy doing exercise even if you are an asthma sufferer is to know what may possibly trigger your asthma attacks. Some of these may be exposure to allergens or even to insects like cockroaches. One of the most common indoor triggers of asthma are dust mites which often give people the idea that it is the dust that is causing their allergic reaction. Dust mites are microscopic bugs that feed mostly on hair and dead skin that humans shed. Their waste products contain proteins that cause allergic reactions in people with asthma. Outdoor triggers include molds and plant pollens. Other things that may trigger an asthma attack are airway irritants and viral respiratory infections.
Once you know what the possible causes of your asthma attacks are, you may do any of the following to prevent them:
1. Don't smoke or if somebody smokes in your home, make sure that they do so in designated places in the home that you can avoid.
2. Stay indoors, preferably with air conditioning, during months when molds and pollen counts are high.
3. Give your pets a bath every week.
4. Wash your beddings and other things where dust mites may thrive like stuffed toys at least once per week using hot water.
5. Cover your mouth and nose with a scarf or similar clothing during the winter months.
6. If you know what triggers your asthma, be proactive and avoid them as much as you can.
7. Wash your hands often.
When you know what triggers your asthma attacks and are prepared to prevent them, then you may go ahead and enjoy the benefits of exercise. Just make sure that you take precautions so that attacks that may ruin your exercise may be avoided.
As an extra precaution, make sure that your inhaler and other asthma medications are close by when you exercise. If in case an asthma attack still occurs prior to your exercise, make sure that you go light on your exercise routines for the meantime.
Unfortunately, there is still a case known as EIA or exercise-induced asthma where the symptoms normally appear around 6 to 10 minutes after starting your exercise and is often worse in cold or dry air. Do not fret however, since there are still a lot of other activities that you can enjoy such as biking, swimming, walking, and other team-based sports that will give you the exercise you need as well.
Remember, knowing your asthma episodes and what triggers them quite well will help prepare you to be proactive. Don't let your asthma put you in a life of lethargy and go ahead and enjoy exercising like everybody else.
1. 4 Ways to Prevent Asthma, http://www.parents.com/kids/health/asthma/4-ways-to-prevent-asthma-attacks-at-home/
2. Exercise Induced Asthma (EIA), http://www.webmd.com/asthma/guide/exercise-induced-asthma
3. Best Exercises for Asthma, http://www.medicinenet.com/best_exercises_for_asthma_yoga_swimming_biking/views.htm