Asthma is a respiratory condition that is characterised by an increased sensitivity of the airways resulting in the air passages, principally the bronchioles, narrowing for a period of time.
There are a variety of potential ‘triggers’ that can induce an "asthma attack”
· Air pollution
· Pollens and air-borne allergens
· Specific foods
Most people who suffer from asthma know what their triggers are and very few suffer from all the above. Usually suffers have the potential for Broncho-constriction with exercise, however the response and severity can vary greatly from person to person.
If you do suffer from asthma and are looking to get involved in exercise, I highly recommend that before you join a gym, you recall and record any times you have had an exercised induced episode.
Include where you were, time of year, weather conditions, what you were doing on these occasions and detail as much information as possible. Include any past experiences with daily activities.
When you decide to begin exercise, consult a trainer and share with them all related information and experiences. This will allow your trainer to reduce the risk of inducing similar events by eliminating likely contributing factors.
To reduce the risk of developing exercise induced asthma
· - Intermittent physical activity
· - Work out in warm moist air
· - Swimming (trigger dependent)
· - Low to moderate intensity exercise
· - Exercise in clean fresh air with low pollution and pollen in the environment
· - Always have your fast acting bronchodilator in your possession when you exercise
· - Make gains in physical conditioning
· - Always listen to your body and be patient with progress – It WILL work!
Exercise guidelines for asthma
Goal: Improve cardio respiratory conditioning (breathe easier and more efficiently)
What to do: Weight training - work large muscle groups, low resistance and conditioning based. 15-20 reps, 2-4 sets.
Cardio vascular (walking cycling, swimming, rowing, jogging, running) Start with 5 minutes and build up to 20-30 minutes working intermittently depending on your fitness levels.
How often?: 3-5 times per week – time of day may be trigger dependant.
Intensity: Low- moderate and then after time progress to high (trigger dependant)
You may also find Tai Chi useful in regulating controlled breathing through exercise.
I hope this has been useful.
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