Exercise and asthma


Asthma is a medical condition where parts of your airway tightens making it difficult to breathe.  There are many triggers and exercise can be one of them.  For this reason, many people with asthma avoid exercise. This is unfortunate because exercise, when done right, can actually help give you more days free of asthma symptoms.

Along with all the other benefits,

regular exercise has been shown to improve asthma control

What makes exercise a trigger for asthma?

  • Exercise induced asthma seems to be caused by dehydration of the airways.  When you breathe heavier, the airways are more likely to dry leading to a series of events that causes asthma symptoms
  • When water loss is prevented, by breathing warm humid air, exercise does not provoke an attack of asthma

What are the benefits of exercise for people with asthma?

  • More symptom free days
  • Reduces risks of asthma exacerbation
  • Improved exercise capacity
  • Improved quality of life
  • Improved pulmonary function

How can I prevent an asthma episode with exercise?

  • Exercise regularly
  • Do a pre-exercise warm up
  • Cover your mouth with a scarf or mask while exercising in cold temps
  • Avoid exercising in
    • High pollution areas
    • Periods of high allergen levels
    • Extreme temperatures
  • Avoid exercising when asthma is exacerbated or during a respiratory tract infection
  • Ask your doctor about using a fast acting asthma medication 10-15 minutes before exercise can help you avoid or minimize an asthma episode during exercise.
  • Use all of your asthma medications as directed
  • Treat other medical conditions that can worsen asthma symptoms, such as gastric reflux


Keep Moving, Be Well,


Please share these posts with anyone you know interested in losing weight with or without weight loss surgery.  Click here to learn more about the UMass Memorial Weight Center

These weekly blogs are general guidelines. These guidelines apply to patients who are cleared by a physician for the type of exercise described. Please contact your physician with any concerns or questions. Always report any symptoms associated with exercise, such as pain, irregular heartbeats, and dizziness or fainting, to your physician.


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by | June 26, 2019 · 6:50 pm

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