By Adem Lewis / in , , , , /


DSU MEDICAL EDITOR DR. COREY HEBERT SAYS. HERE HE IS WITH TIPS ON HOW TO EXERCISE WITH ASTHMA.>>SORRY TO SAY IT, BUT HAVING ASTHMA DOESN’T GIVE YOU LICENSE TO BECOME A COUCH POTATO. EVEN ASTHMATICS CAN AND SHOULD MAINTAIN ACTIVE LIFESTYLES. ASTHMA IS A CHRONIC RESPIRATORY CONDITION IN WHICH THE AIRWAYS NARROW AND BREATHING BECOMES DIFFICULT. SYMPTOMS INCLUDE COUGHING, WHEEZING AND SHORTNESS OF BREATH. PHYSICAL EXERTION CAN BE AN ASTHMA-INDUCING TRIGGER, THE CHIEF ONE, IN FACT, FOR 90% OF SUFFERERS. SO-CALLED EXERCISE-INDUCED ASTHMA IS ACTUALLY BROUGHT ON BY COLD, DRY AIR. WHEN YOU’RE AT REST, THE AIR YOU BREATHE IN THROUGH YOUR NOSE IS WARMED, MOISTENED AND FILTERED ON ITS WAY TO YOUR LUNGS. DURING EXERCISE OR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY, YOU DRAW BREATH FASTER, USUALLY THROUGH YOUR MOUTH. THIS BRINGS DRY, COOL AIR TO YOUR LUNGS VERY QUICKLY. EVEN IN NON-ASTHMA SUFFERERS, THIS HARSHER AIR CAUSES THE MUSCLES SURROUNDING THE LARGE AIRWAYS, OR BRONCHI, TO TIGHTEN. BUT FOR ASTHMA SUFFERERS, A FEW MINUTES OF THIS TIGHTENING MOTION IS ENOUGH TO PROMPT A FULL-ON ATTACK. THE BRONCHI INFLAME AND PRODUCE EXCESS MUCUS, NARROWING TH AIRWAYS FURTHER AND LEADING TO COUGHING AND DIFFICULTY BREATHING. THE GOOD NEWS IS THAT WITH PROPER ASTHMA TREATMENT, YOU CAN PLAY SPORTS OR EXERCISE TO YOUR FULL POTENTIAL. WHEN EXERCISING, THERE ARE SOME BASIC RULES TO FOLLOW THAT WILL KEEP YOU SAFE. FIRST OF ALL, AVOID PHYSICAL ACTIVITY ON DAYS WHEN YOU AREN’T FEELING WELL, OR ARE ALREA EXPERIENCING ASTHMA SYMPTOMS. YOU SHOULD ALSO LIMIT YOUR EXERCISE ON DAYS WHEN THE AIR QUALITY IS POOR. WATCH THE WEATHER REPORT ON WDSU AND CHECK THE AIR QUALITY INDEX TO GAUGE HOW BAD THE POLLUTION AND POLLEN LEVELS ARE FOR THE DAY. IF YOU’VE DECIDED THAT IT’S A GOOD DAY TO EXERCISE, BEGIN WITH A SLOW AND THOROUGH WARM-UP, AND ALWAYS END YOUR ROUTINE BY STRETCHING. EASING INTO AND OUT OF THESE EXERCISES HELPS YOUR BODY ADJUST TO THE DIFFERENT STYLES OF BREATHING REQUIRED. WHILE EXERCISING, DRINK PLENTY OF FLUIDS. HYDRATION RELIEVES BRONCHIAL IRRITATION FROM DRY AIR. OF COURSE, YOU SHOULD TAKE YOUR ASTHMA MEDICATION BEFORE EXERCISING AND KEEP YOUR INHALER AT HAND. SHOULD YOU HAVE AN EXERCISE-INDUCED ASTHMA ATTACK, STOP IMMEDIATELY AND USE YOUR INHALER. AFTER FIVE MINUTES OR SO, IF YOUR SYMPTOMS HAVE STOPPED, YOU MAY CHOOSE TO CONTINUE YOUR EXERCISE. IF YOU HAVE A SECOND ATTACK, CALL IT QUITS FOR THE DAY. THEN CHECK-IN WITH YOUR DOCTOR. LEARNING TO MANAGE YOUR EXERCISE-INDUCED ASTHMA IS KEY TO YOUR OVERALL PHYSICAL HEALTH. INACTIVITY CAN ONLY MAKE YOU FEEL WORSE. REMEMBER TO TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR


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