Asthma: Take a Breath of Fresh Air
“I can’t go running because I have asthma.”
“I wish I could take up mountain climbing, but my asthma makes that impossible.”
“If I didn’t have asthma, I could spend more time playing with my kids.”
Do any of the above statements sound like something you’ve ever said or thought? Have you found that you aren’t able to do the things you used to enjoy or never started things you thought you’d like to do because you’re asthmatic?
People who have asthma have airways that are swollen or inflamed, which make them susceptible to irritations and allergic reactions. During an asthma attack, the airways narrow and breathing becomes difficult. Even though asthma is an incurable illness, with sound treatment methods and management, people who suffer from asthma can live not only a normal, but an active, life.
If you suffer from asthma, a medical practitioner can help you determine what triggers your symptoms, thus allowing you to avoid them. You may be given a prescription medicine to help manage the condition as well. Regardless of the medical regimen you practice to control asthma, maintaining whole body health and understanding how and why your body reacts to particular environmental circumstances is the key to living an active lifestyle, even if you have asthma.
Exercise is good for everybody. Exercising regularly keeps the heart healthy, extra weight off and stress levels in check. Nonetheless, in a survey conducted by Asthma UK, one in six parents say their child’s asthma stops them from doing exercise or participating in sports at school. Neglecting physical health can lead to dangerous health conditions in the future, so the goal is to work up to 30 minutes of exercise three to five times a week to a level that makes you only mildly breathless.
You can help keep your asthma at bay and get your needed exercise by increasing your fitness levels gradually, letting those you are exercising with know that you have asthma, and warming up and cooling down thoroughly. It’s important to keep your reliever inhaler with you when you exercise and do what you can to avoid coming into contact with conditions that aggravate your symptoms.
Yoga is a full-body exercise for the body and the mind, which many people enjoy. Though you shouldn’t stop taking your asthma medication unless advised by your medical practitioner, many people find the breathing techniques associated with yoga to be beneficial for their asthma. The warm, humid atmosphere of a pool does not usually trigger asthma symptoms, so swimming may be a good exercise to consider as well. Even an after-dinner walk for a brisk 20 minutes can make a big difference for your physical health over a long period of time.
Are you still letting your asthma hold you back from doing what you’d love to do? If you’d like to learn more about this illness and ways to cope and become more active, join us Wednesday, April 28, at 6:30 p.m. for a special workshop at The Specific Chiropractic Center. Please call 1-888-722-4467 to reserve your space at this workshop!
All About Asthma. MedicalNewsToday.com. Retrieved March 9, 2010 from http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/info/asthma/what-is-asthma.php.
Exercise. AsthmaUK.org.uk. Retrieved March 9, 2010 from http://www.asthma.org.uk/all_about_asthma/healthy_lifestyles/exercise.html.
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