Monday, October 18, 2010

Asthma history: 1981 (asthma and exercise)

So we know now that exercise is good for asthma. In fact, we knew it way back in the 19th century. The problem with exercise and asthma is it's hard to do when you are having asthma trouble, and if you have exercise induced asthma (which 75% of asthmatics do), that's an extra incentive NOT to exercise.

Yet asthma should not be avoided. This we knew way back in 1981, and was part of a lecture we received asthma patients at national Jewish Health back in 1985:

I. Exercise -- Should not be avoided, even if there is an exercise component

1. Use pretreat when necessary.

A. Why is it important?

  1. Improved strength in musculature increases the body's ability to fight off attacks -- particularly in muscles associated with breathing
  2. Child will have a healthier appetite and sleep better if he/she is exercising regularly
  3. Aids in weight control
  4. Can possibly effectively increase lung capacity

B. What kind of exercises?

  1. Any exercise is beneficial, providing you know your limits, attend to your early signs of distress, and take pretreats if prescribed
  2. Swimming is particularly excellent because it exercises most muscles and teaches breathing control

Now we would add that the more you exercise, the more tolerant you become to exercise. The more you exercise, the less fatigued you will get, and the less dyspnea you will experience with normal movement.

Exercise is good all the way around. I think in my Asthma Central Shareposts I write about this more often than any other subject regarding asthma, because I find it to be so true. The more I exercise, the better my asthma becomes.

Yet when I go months without exercise, when my life becomes sedentary, I find I get dyspneic even while sitting. I think this is worse for asthmatics than those who do not have asthma. Exercise! Do it! I wrote about this in more detail here.


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  2. All of A are very true-well said, and I Particularly agree with B2-swimming. I used to be able to run, but not since 2005. My exercise of choice now is gentle swimming and I seem to be able to cope with a gentle km even when I'm so SOB I can barely get changed without pausing for ventolin!
    Nice post.