If you’re living with asthma, you know that it can impede your ability to enjoy elements of everyday life. Sometimes, it interferes with activities that you know are important for your health. People are bombarded every day with messages about how important exercising is for their health. This leads to feelings of guilt and inferiority and, in many situations, adds more stress to an already stressful day.
It can be especially disheartening if your asthma keeps you from being able to exercise in the way you feel you should. The following will explore a few things you might want to keep in mind if you’re trying to organize more exercise while living with asthma.
Understand Your Triggers
There are a lot of common things that trigger asthma outside of exercise that can be addressed to reduce the risk of an asthmatic experience. For many asthmatics, fragrance can increase the chances of a negative experience because it increases inflammation in the body. For others, air quality is a major factor for comfort. Perhaps working out at home in a room with an air filter is an option.
If you live in a city or somewhere where air quality fluctuates, you might want to schedule your exercise around days that are particularly bad for air quality. Find out what your triggers are through careful journaling and awareness over a period of time, and do your best to avoid any overlap between triggers and exercise. Much of this information will result in you choosing environments to exercise in that are less likely to present triggers.
If you have supplies or devices like an inhaler that help you manage asthma symptoms, you want to have those nearby. You also want to ensure that all elements of your respiratory care system are properly maintained and not expired. If you have things that are expired or poorly cared for, you might want to seek out new versions of these supplies or devices before attempting exercise.
A Little Goes A Long Way
You don’t need to be running marathons to be exercising. Little things like kneeling down to weed a patch in the garden count as exercise. A slow walk counts as exercise. Playing a game of golf can be exercised. Stretching counts as exercise.
Find the gentlest forms of exercise you can and focus on those first. It’s better to find a little task that you can do comfortably than avoid exercising because you’re not able to do the high-stress tasks that are commonly advertised in workout magazines.
Never Exercise When Sick
When your body is sick, even if all you’re dealing with is a runny nose, if you were to look at what’s going on under a microscope, you’d see that your body is throwing everything it has at an invader. It doesn’t need the extra stress on top of what it’s already dealing with.
If you’re feeling at all sick, even mildly so, skip exercise until you feel recovered. Let your body focus all its attention on your sickness; it might not have as much energy as usual, to devote to dealing with asthma triggers.
Think About The Temperature
Many people with asthma struggle to breathe in certain temperatures and humidity levels. If it’s particularly cold and you know your asthma is often more difficult in the cold, avoid exercise or exercise indoors where it’s warm. If it helps, you can also use a humidifier or dehumidifier in the room where you exercise.
Know Your Limits
Every person is different, even if they share a condition like asthma. This means that what works for one person living with asthma might not work for another person, and that’s completely okay. Listen to your body. If it’s telling you that something isn’t working, stop. Try something else when you’re feeling better.
Pushing your body past its limits isn’t kind or helpful. Even people without asthma need to be wary of pushing themselves too hard. Nothing is going to prevent you from maintaining a healthy exercise routine, like an injury or some other situation that requires a lengthy recovery time.
The above tips should help you find safe and healthy ways to incorporate exercise into your daily life if you’re living with asthma. Of course, if you have been advised against exercise by a medical professional, it’s best to follow such advice.
If you feel like the guidance provided by your doctor or specialist is too restrictive, seek a second opinion from a medical professional. It’s okay to visit a doctor and specify that you’re looking for ways to incorporate exercise without suffering asthmatic symptoms.