Cancel
Nearby: Atlanta, GA 30308

Access Your Account

New to Healthgrades?

Join for free!

Or, sign in directly with Healthgrades:

Doctors and their Administrators:
Sign Up or Log In

4 Great Exercises For Asthma

By

Kelli Miller

Was this helpful? (51)
This content is selected and managed by the Healthgrades editorial staff and is brought to you by an advertising sponsor.
x

This content is created or selected by the Healthgrades editorial team and is funded by an advertising sponsor. The content is subject to the Healthgrades medical review process for accuracy, balance and objectivity. The content is not edited or otherwise influenced by the advertisers appearing on this page except with the possible suggestion of the broad topic area. For more information, read the HealthGrades advertising policy.

ADVERTISEMENT
Ready for anything

Exercise is always touted as the key to a vibrant, healthy life. But if you have asthma, working out can be a challenge. Researchers have long known that strenuous physical activity can make asthma symptoms, like wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath, worse. In fact, some people only have symptoms when they exercise. This condition is called exercise-induced asthma. The key is to keep your asthma under control and your inhaler close at hand. And certain exercises are ideal for people with asthma. 

  • 1.

    Dive in to water.

    Water exercise is great for people with asthma. Try swimming a few laps or join a water aerobics class at a local gym. Swimming helps build upper body muscles, including those used to breathe. Exercising in the water is also a lot gentler on the joints than other activities.

    exercise-woman-in-swimming-pool
  • 2.

    Strike a new yoga pose.

    Yoga is a great way to tone the body while helping you become more aware of your breathing. Certain poses, like the Bridge and Cobra, open the chest area, increasing flexibility and strengthening the muscles around the lungs. Research shows regularly doing yoga breathing techniques, called pranayamas, improves lung function in healthy adults. Some studies hint it may help those with mild to moderate asthma, too.  

    Woman in Warrior Yoga Pose
  • 3.

    Go for a simple stroll.

    Walking may seem tame when it comes to workouts, but it is one of the best activities to help get – and keep you -- in shape. And as a bonus, it also helps improve your lung capacity. Aim for a 30-minute walk about five days a week. 

    A few tips: Use your inhaler before you head out. Skip the stroll on bad air quality days. Check your local weather forecast –they usually offer a free air quality alert. And if it's cold out, wrap a scarf around your nose and mouth so you can bring in warm, moist air and prevent an asthma attack.

    Romantic Couple Walking Through Autumn Woodland
  • 4.

    Join a team – on your field of dreams.

    Activities that require constant running up and down the field or court – like soccer or basketball – can be difficult if you have asthma. Instead, opt for sports that require short bursts of energy with periods of rest in between.  For example, choose short-distance running challenges instead of longer ones. Two others worth a shot? Baseball and football. 

    woman-holding-baseball-bats
Was this helpful? (51)
Medical Reviewers: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS Last Review Date: Dec 1, 2015

© 2016 Healthgrades Operating Company, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Healthgrades Operating Company, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the Healthgrades User Agreement.

View Sources

Medical References

  1. Asthma and Exercise. American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology. http://www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/library/asthma-library/asthma-and-exercise.aspx
  2. Saxena, T. The effect of various breathing exercises (pranayama) in patients with bronchial asthma of mild to moderate severity. International Journal of Yoga. January – June 2009; Vol. 2(1): pp. 22–25. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3017963
  3. Abel, AN. The effects of regular yoga practice on pulmonary function in healthy individuals: a literature review. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. March 2013; Vol. 19(3): pp. 185-90. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22978245
  4. Breath of Fresh Air. Brigham and Women's Hospital: Partners Healthcare. http://www.asthma.partners.org/NewFiles/BoFAChapter4.html
  5. Cramer, H. Yoga for asthma: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, 2014; Vol. 112 (6): p. 503. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.anai.2014.03.014
  6. Walking and Asthma. Walking for Health. https://www.walkingforhealth.org.uk/get-walking/walking-health-conditions/walking-and-asthma
  7. Walking... A Step in the Right Direction! The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.  http://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-topics/weight-control/walking-step-right-directio...

Your opinion matters!



Please fill out this short, 1-3 minute survey about Taking Control of Your Asthma. Your answers are anonymous and will not be linked to you personally.

The survey will appear at the end of your visit.

Thank you!

A survey will be presented to you after you finish viewing our Taking Control of Your Asthma content.

You Might Also Like

4 Great Exercises For Asthma

With asthma, working out can be a challenge. But certain exercises are ideal for people with asthma.

At Your Appointment

Questions to Ask Your Doctor About Asthma

Share via Email

NEXT ARTICLE:

Quit-Smoking Tips for People with Asthma

Up Next

Quit-Smoking Tips for People with Asthma