Exercises for asthma: good or bad?

Exercise-induced asthma is attributable to when a person runs or takes other forms of exercise. It is only now that doctors have realized that it is not separate from asthma, though it is quite usual for people with asthma to be so afflicted. Exercise-induced asthma is particularly a problem in the case of young people, and it has puzzled doctors for quite some time why children suffer exercise-induced asthma and why that was not the case with adults. After much research, it was found that the reason behind this anomaly was that adults did not exercise quite as much as young people. A possible cause for exercise-induced asthma could be the increased rate of breathing that is consequent to a person exercising.

In spite of all this, asthma and exercise do not have to be equally exclusive. In truth, in lots of cases, they shouldn’t be, given that lots of bronchial asthma sufferers who do exercises on a regular basis report having fewer attacks than when they did not work out. As we know exercise improves your overall physical health.

They can be existent side by side with appropriate care and preparation. Asthma sufferers ought to check with their general practitioner regarding numerous types of exercise, and prior to starting an exercise routine ought to be certain that they are already into managing their asthma on a daily basis. Regardless of general well-being or fitness level, everybody is encouraged to always warm-up and cool down prior to exercising, whether in the course of playing a sport or participating in an individual pursuit such as walking or cycling. In spite of this good advice, lots of people skip warm-ups and cool-downs to try to cut down the time we use on our exercise routines. It is especially important for those with asthma not to do this, as warming up and cooling down make changes in your breathing pattern more measured. Stretching and walking beforehand following your more intense workout can help deal with asthma and exercise.

Having a suitable medical apparatus together with inhalers easily available is very important when you are dealing with asthma and exercise. Be sure to have packed what you need with you before you begin your work-out.

A consistent workout routine

A consistent workout routine can in fact help deal with your medical condition, but asthma and exercise don’t mix every time. You should never start, carry on, adjust or add to a workout routine if your asthma is not at present under control. In addition, you must not exercise if you are suffering from a cold, the flu or allergies that are already aggravating breathing difficulties. In any of these cases, asthma and exercise just aren’t the greatest combination.

If you begin to suffocate during exercise, do it right away! Knowing how to deal with asthma attacks can save your life!

Asthma and bodybuilding

Bodybuilding is intense! Anyone who has ever done any bodybuilding will know that it is not only a sport but also physically demanding. Many people who turn to bodybuilding with the desire to build muscle mass often find that asthma holds them back from their peak performance.

Another thing which not too many bodybuilders consider (as well as most sportsmen) taking supplements on a daily basis to enhance their sports performance, is that the steroid’s found in asthma inhalers interfere not only with your capacity to perform to your max but also interfere with the supplements you take.

Because bodybuilders bulk up, their asthma tends to somewhat worsen. This is due to the pressure put on their diaphragm, as they bulk up so does their breathing change. The same thing happens with overweight people.

How to be an asthma-free bodybuilder

As your breathing changes so does your asthma, the more difficult you find it to breathe, the more you will breathe. This sounds like a contradiction but let us clarify it.

When asthmatic’s cannot breathe then tend to gasp for air, which brings in more oxygen than they should be taking in. So the only reason you have asthma is not that you are born with some weakness, not because you have some genetic in you but because you over breathe.

As crazy as it sounds it’s the truth.

And here’s the proof – asthmatics breathe around 15 liters of air per minute compared to non-asthmatic who only breathe around 6-12 liters of air per minute.

So the first step bodybuilders should and can take in regard to asthma, is to reduce their breathing. Many of the protein shakes they take, including the chocolate-flavored protein and whey drinks should never be drunk with dairy and if possible avoid anything that contains chocolate.

Chocolate is one of the worst things you can eat or drink as a bodybuilder and even if doesn’t contain chocolate – don’t drink it! Chocolate will make your chest tight, if you have a craving for chocolate, it is an indication that your body is low in magnesium.

Good breathing tips

Always warm-up, not the traditional type of stretching but begin by shallow breathing, breathing only through your nose, your breathing should be light and you should never hear your breathing, this should be done before and after for about 3-5 minutes.

If you follow these simple yet highly effective asthma bodybuilding tips you will soon find that your asthma condition while doing bodybuilding will improve.

The best exercises for asthma

Shortness of breath during exercise could be a symptom of exercise-induced asthma. For most asthmatic’s exercise is a burden, you seem to have to work twice as hard as anyone else, you need to often take breaks to get your asthma medication and you need to also have longer recovery times after exercise.

But there are exercises that have a beneficial effect on your condition and do not contribute to overwork.

The best type of asthma exercises tend to be:


Swimming naturally helps you build up your lungs and also helps hold your breath for longer, this way you don’t hyperventilate as often as you used to when you were not swimming.


Naturally calms you down, it naturally keeps you from over hyperventilating and helps you relax, when you relax you breathe less, the less you breathe the better of you are with asthma. Consider yoga if you would like to keep your asthma under control.


Like yoga is also beneficial for adult asthma, you should consider Pilates if you would like to improve your asthma.

It is important to always breathe through your nose when you have asthma, keep this in mind when you are doing any excessive with your condition.

Avoid running, or jogging until you can breathe properly through your nose. Running and jogging have been known to aggravate your asthma as this requires you to breathe more this then creates hyperventilation.

Avoid exercises in cold weather. If you do go outside, be sure to have a scarf or something like that around your mouth or nose, this prevents you from breathing in cold air which stops you from having an asthma attack.

It is very important to do physical exercise for asthmatics, you should aim to do about thirty minutes per day and you should also aim to gradually build your strength. This does help asthma and it is a proven fact that those who do exercise and have asthma have their asthma under better control than those who do not exercise.

Asthma exercises are important if you wish to live a happy long life while keeping your asthma at bay.

Watch your well-being

Always be conscious of how you are feeling while working out and discontinue if you experience symptoms coming on. Each time hang on several minutes after symptoms go back to normal before you start exercising again. With awareness and continuing day-to-day therapy and control of your asthma, exercise can be not only a part of your life and a provider to your complete well-being, but something that will help you to manage your medical condition.

Taking care of yourself when you have asthma is exceptionally important. You have to be aware of exactly how your asthma and exercise work together.

This article is written by Carl Lawyer, M.D. pulmonology and sleep medicine specialist, a general practitioner who provides a wide range of services for the treatment of lung diseases and sleep disorders. Dr. Carl Lawyer graduated from medical school at the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Denver, Colorado. He is available for inpatient and outpatient consultation on a variety of pulmonary-related issues, including acute and chronic respiratory failure, asthma, lung cancer, and COPD.

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