Updated: Aug 13
During the course of the work I do, I get hired by clients with varying health conditions. One of those conditions is asthma.
Exercising to improve asthma is not a new idea..... and is long established. It has been put into practice over years if not decades. There is no ideal exercise for an asthma sufferer so a lot does come down to being active with an exercise you enjoy. This also brings the desired outcome of exercise adherence which is needed to make improvements long term.
Asthma is a chronic condition that affects the bronchioles of the lungs. Asthma can develop in childhood but can begin in adulthood after an infection. Obstruction of the airflow is the characteristic symptom of asthma.
🔴 THE PATHOPHYSIOLOGY OF ASTHMA INCLUDES.....
Inflammation and infection.
Inflammation of mucous membranes.
🔶 Asthma is variable from individual to individual and can affect level of activity. A crucial point to note is that people who have difficulty coping with exercise may not have their asthma under proper control. Hence..... exercise may not the barrier that many think it is when asthma is under control.
Sometimes I get clients who have NOT hired me specifically for the improvement of asthma, but simply wish to improve their fitness levels. Being aware in this case is important. Exercise has to be appropriate to the individual.
This is an important point to note about applying the principles of exercise and adaptability of exercise rather than a "stigma" of training for asthma.
A valuable technique that applies not only with asthma but people in general with fitness training is NASAL BREATHING which allows the nose to carry out its filtering function. Even at higher levels of exercise intensity, nasal breathing is something I teach to ALL my clients, irrespective of any health condition. 👈
Asthma can be triggered by many reasons including temperature which plays a role in training with asthma successfully. Common causes have modifiable and non modifiable factors.
Smoking, dust mites, stress, animals and chemicals can be "modified" whereas genetics or a bacterial infection cannot..... there is also "exercise induced asthma" or EIA which can be experienced by people not diagnosed with asthma. Incidentally those actually diagnosed with asthma, by majority have difficulty breathing with very intense exercise. Again, individuals do vary.
🔴 SO, HOW DOES EXERCISE HELP ASTHMA?
The principles of exercise and application.....
Improvement of cardiovascular function.
Improved respiratory fitness (validity for cardio).
Helping prevent further respiratory discomfort.
More efficient breathing patterns.
🔶 Very general guidelines for exercise with asthma are as follows..... but bear in mind there may be medication considerations too as well as other health complications.
Aerobic activity three times per week, say 30 minutes each but that IS variable and of course dependant on level of ability. The duration could be longer or shorter in the beginning.
Resistance training twice a week with low resistance and high reps..... and breath control is brought into play here, as well as the benefits of resistance training. Flexibility training should be included as it improves range of motion, and is nearly always beneficial in general with or without a health condition.
The suggestions above are indeed just a guideline that hasn't taken into account any specific level of asthma, nor a clients specific circumstances. The take home point with asthma and any other health condition is applying appropriate exercise to the individual and their level of ability/condition. The principles of fitness training should never be forgotten or overlooked and are testament to how the body works.
Do you need help and guidance to improve a health condition? Why not get in touch and book your free consultation? ⬇️