Tag Archives: exercise induced asthma

10 Great Types of Exercise for Asthmatics

When you’re an asthmatic, exercise can be a daunting notion that prompts images of wheezing, coughing and chest tightening, but it doesn’t have to be that way. While intense cardiovascular exercise can trigger dangerous asthma attacks, studies have proven that routine light-to-moderate exercise is actually quite beneficial for most asthmatics and can help increase lung capacity. Let’s look at some of the better types of exercise for asthmatics to try:

  1. Walking is perhaps tied with swimming as the best exercise choice for asthmatics. It gets you moving and gets that heart rate up without making your lungs head into spasm territory. One recent study found that those who walked multiple times weekly showed improved overall control of asthma symptoms than those who didn’t. Walking is also great because you can do it outdoors if conditions are okay, or take it indoors on a treadmill when winter air becomes too harsh on the lungs.
  2. Swimming is another ideal exercise type for asthmatics. It can be as mild or as vigorous as you choose, and the humid environment may help breathing and help to loosen mucus in asthmatics.
  3. Yoga can be doubly beneficial for asthmatics as it not only works out the body at a slow, lung-friendly pace, but the deep breathing techniques central to the practice are great for getting the stale air out of an asthmatic’s lungs and helping increase breath capacity. Namaste, indeed!
  4. Certain sports like volleyball and baseball are great choices as they aren’t too strenuous and combine periods of rest with periods of light to moderate activity. Basketball or football would not be good choices, however, because they require longer periods of high-intensity running and exertion.
  5. Weight training wouldn’t cause the lungs to work in overdrive the same as intense cardiovascular exercise would.
  6. Leisurely level-ground biking – Fast-paced or uneven terrain biking may be too hard on an exercise-induced asthmatic, however, light, level-ground biking could be just what the doctor ordered. It may provide enough resistance and require enough energy that it can help expand the lungs without inciting an attack.
  7. (Light) interval training – high intensity interval training (HIIT) is a very popular exercise trend as of late, for many good reasons. If you are severely asthmatic, you may want to leave off the “high intensity” part and just focus on any kind of exercise done in bursts between little rest breaks.
  8. Balance ball exercises – There are many balance ball exercise regimens out there that wouldn’t serve as an obstacle for an asthmatic, but would provide for them a well-balanced workout.
  9. Ballet – would probably be one of the least cardiovascular-based dance types for an asthmatic to more comfortably try. Ballet is an excellent workout, requiring the use of almost all your muscles and instilling great bodily discipline.
  10. Martial arts is another activity that allows for rest breaks between short bursts of activity, which can be very beneficial for asthmatics. It is also good for breath training and mental well-being.

We hope this post gave you some good exercise ideas for the asthmatics in your life! Thanks for visiting DocChat, if you have any medical questions remember our board certified physicians are standing by 24/7/365 to help!