Asthma exercise

What to do with exercise induced asthma?

Physical exercise can be a trigger when asthma is poorly controlled. People with asthma should not avoid doing physical exercise. If you have good control of your asthma symptoms, it is advisable to exercise to keep your lungs and body in good physical condition.

Physical exercise helps you to:

strengthen your breathing muscles;
stimulate your immune system;
Maintain healthy body weight.
All of these benefits can improve your condition in the long run. The key to physical exercise – be sure to fully control your asthma symptoms before starting a fitness program.

If exercise triggers your asthma symptoms, you should follow your Asthma Action Plan to the letter.

Asthma exercise
Asthma exercise

How to exercise if you have asthma

Always bring your rescue inhaler – blue pump – into your pockets, backpack, etc.

  1. Be sure to fully control your asthma symptoms; otherwise, physical exercise can be dangerous for you.
  2. Use your medications as recommended. If you have difficulty breathing, you should use your rescue inhaler (blue pump – eg Ventolin ©). In addition, your doctor may ask you to use your rescue inhaler (blue pump) or other bronchodilator fifteen minutes before exercising.
  3. Do your warm-up and recovery exercises well.

Before exercising, warm up by walking, stretching and other low-intensity activities.
After completing the physical exercises, recover slowly for at least 10 minutes; do not stop your exercises abruptly. If you race, finish by slowing down to a walking pace; if you swim, finish with slower movements; give your body time to adjust.

  1. Protect yourself from all other asthma triggers during exercise (cold air, smog, pollen, etc.).

Pay particular attention to the air quality and the temperature of the place chosen for physical exercise. Use your good judgment. You may need to practice elsewhere, in a place with better air quality. For example :
If you plan to run outdoors when the weather is hot and humid and smog is present, it is likely that air and exercise will worsen your asthma symptoms. Instead, try running indoors in an air-conditioned gym.
If you run on the grass and are allergic to it, your asthma symptoms can get worse. Try to run in the woods or on a paved track.
If cold air triggers your asthma symptoms and you cross-country ski when the temperature is 25 degrees below zero, your asthma symptoms may get worse. Try to breathe through your nose or through a scarf to warm the air before it enters your lungs. If your asthma symptoms are pronounced, wait for the temperature to warm up before cross-country skiing.

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  1. If symptoms appear, stop exercising and use your rescue inhaler (blue pump).

Sit down; wait a few minutes to see if your symptoms are decreasing.
If your symptoms decrease considerably, do your warm-up exercises and start the exercise again slowly.
If your symptoms persist, use your rescue inhaler (blue pump); wait a few minutes to see if your symptoms are decreasing.

  1. If the symptoms still do not decrease, do the following:
    During an asthma attack

STOP any activity
Use your emergency inhaler (blue pump)
Sit down
Dial 911 if the medication does not relieve your symptoms
If symptoms persist, continue using your rescue inhaler (blue pump) until the ambulance arrives
How does physical exercise trigger asthma symptoms?

Doctors think they know why exercise makes the symptoms of some people with asthma (also known as exercise-induced bronchospasm or IBE) worse.

Normally, people breathe through the nose. The nose acts as an air filter. It controls the temperature and humidity of the air before entering the lungs.

When you exercise, your body requires more air. Your breathing accelerates to get more air. You start breathing through your mouth, so you can quickly swallow more air. However, the swallowed air is not filtered, warmed or humidified by your nose; the air is, therefore, colder and drier than usual.

If you have asthma, your hypersensitive airways do not like cold, dry air. They react and the muscles around them contract. The contracted airways let in less air; your breathing whistles, you cough and you are out of breath.

Obvious symptoms of asthma caused by exercise

Wheezing
breathlessness
Chest tightness
Cough
More difficult symptoms to notice from asthma caused by exercise

Some people, especially children, may have more difficult symptoms to notice:

Chest tightness
Discomfort or chest pain
Sensitivity to cold air (always cough after playing outside)
The feeling of poor physical condition or shortness of breath
Quickly tired
Lack of energy
Can not follow others while running or playing
Can not run five minutes without stopping
dizziness
Stomach ache
Frequent colds
Frequent throat clearance sounds
There are several things that can change the way your lungs respond to exercise:

Your level of control over your asthma symptoms
The temperature and ambient air quality of where you exercise;
The types of exercises performed, your level of intensity and the duration of the exercises;
Level of control over your asthma symptoms

If you have full control of your asthma symptoms, your airways will be less sensitive to physical exercise. You will notice that exercise is a minor trigger for you.

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If you do not have full control of your asthma symptoms, your airways will be fragile and vulnerable to physical exercise. You will notice that exercise is a major trigger for you.

From a medical point of view, we know that inflammation of the airways is proportional to their hypersensitivity or constriction. If your airways are swollen, even minor triggers can irritate them. The slightest exercise can cause asthma symptoms in an asthmatic whose airways are swollen.

If you notice that exercise makes your breathing problems worse, it may be a sign of a lack of control over your asthma symptoms. Talk to your doctor about your symptoms and ask for advice on regaining control of your asthma symptoms.

If you usually have good control of your asthma symptoms and if you have a cold, flu, or other respiratory infection, you may be more likely to notice symptoms during exercise. If you have been sick, pay close attention to your symptoms. It may be helpful to exercise less during the recovery period following a respiratory infection.

Temperature and ambient air quality of where you exercise

Physical exercise is a trigger for asthma symptoms. If you combine this trigger (exercise) with other triggers in the environment,

you are more likely to have asthma symptoms:

Cold air;
Low humidity; therefore, outdoor exercise in cold, dry weather in winter can be dangerous;
Atmospheric pollution (outdoors – smog, dust or other forms of pollution, indoors – emanations from ice resurfacers, smoke, etc.);
Inhaled allergens: grass, pollen, ragweed, etc .;
Irritating as strong emanations produced by art supplies, cosmetics, and smoke;
Exhaust from motor vehicles and trucks and pollutants from factories, especially sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, tropospheric ozone;
Respiratory Infections – a recent episode of colds or asthma can make exercise more difficult than usual;
Tired;
Emotional stress.
Types of exercises, your intensity level, and duration of exercises

You may notice that certain types of exercises affect your breathing more. If you have full control of your asthma symptoms, you should be able to do all types of exercises and practice all sports except diving (scuba), the only sport not recommended for people with asthma. asthma since this sport could be dangerous for them.

Asthma exercise
Asthma exercise

If you notice that some exercise is harder for you, you can:

be sure to do your warm-up and recovery exercises well;
do the exercises more slowly – if the others are running 8 laps during practice, try running 5 laps.
Anaphylaxis induced by exercise

Exercise-induced anaphylaxis is a rare, but worrying and potentially life-threatening physical allergy. Ingestion of foods prior to vigorous activity has been associated with exercise-induced anaphylaxis; this allergy occurs more often in hot and humid weather conditions; it can also be related to the intensity of the effort.

Follow the instructions in case of emergency:

During an asthma attack

STOP any activity
Use your emergency inhaler (blue pump)
Sit down
Dial 911 if the medication does not relieve your symptoms
If symptoms persist, continue using your rescue inhaler (blue pump) until the ambulance arrives
Do not forget :

Always bring your rescue inhaler (in your pockets, backpack, etc.) during your physical activities. Never leave it in your locker or in your car.

Never leave a person with asthma symptoms alone. Accompany her to get her inhaler.

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