Asthma Doesn’t Stop You From Exercising

It’s understandable that adults with these conditions — and there are more all the time, doctors say, due partly to poor air quality and other environmental factors —may find some types of fitness to be an arduous endeavor that ultimately won’t be worth the effort.

But experts say that knowledge of both conditions is improving and, in consultation with physicians, it is possible for sufferers to exercise and maintain an active lifestyle.

“Ten percent of Olympic athletes have asthma, so asthma won’t stop individuals from high functionality,” said Albert Rizzo, chief of Christiana Care Health System’s pulmonary and critical care medicine section and senior medical advisor for the American Lung Association. “With medication, they can go a long way.”

In fact, exercise can have beneficial effects on your asthma symptoms. “Exercise and staying fit is recommended with asthma, whether it is adult-onset or exercise-induced,” said Lisa Gilmore, former director of the National Capital Asthma Coalition and webmaster of the Washington information resource

Those guidelines, which come from the National Asthma Control Initiative, include using inhaled corticosteroids, assessing the severity of your asthma to determine what types of treatment are needed, developing and using a written asthma action plan, making regular follow-up appointments with your physician and trying to control environmental triggers. Some triggers are easy to control, such as smoking, while others — for example, dust and mold in work spaces — might be a little tougher to manage.