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Can I Exercise If I Have Asthma?

For many people with asthma, exercising seems out of the question. Any exercise may trigger an attack within minutes, and many people give up trying. However, can you still exercise even if you suffer from asthma? The answer is yes, with caution. For those with exercise-induced asthma, it is important to warm up well and only participate in exercise that does not trigger an attack. If you begin to experience symptoms of asthma, it is important to stop exercising right away.

Certain exercises may actually help reduce asthma symptoms by strengthening your lung muscles, such as:

  • Swimming

  • Yoga

  • Walking

  • Hiking

  • Gymnastics

  • Golf

  • Biking

However, with any exercising, it is important to proceed with caution and to not push beyond your limits. Cold-weather sports, such as skiing and ice hockey, as well as endurance sports like long-distance running or soccer, could put you at higher risk for an asthma attack. Mild to moderate exercise can help improve asthma symptoms, but exercise that is too strenuous may only make your asthma worse.

When you do exercise, make sure to breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Warm, moist air will help reduce the risk of an asthma attack, which is why breathing through your nose is important. Your nasal cavity will warm up the air, reducing the strain on your lungs.

Furthermore, it is important to avoid exercising outdoors when the pollen count or air pollution level is high. You also need to carry an inhaler with you just in case you have an attack. Warming up and cooling down before and after exercising is crucial to help your body adjust to the activity. Thus, even with asthma, you can still exercise, as long as you take it slow, listen to your body, and use caution.

If you have asthma, the Center for Allergy and Asthma of Georgia is here to help. We provide effective allergy and asthma treatment methods to our patients. Whatever your situation, our team of Georgia allergists will listen to your concerns and create a personalized treatment program to meet your specific needs. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.


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