Exercising With Severe Asthma


Susan Fishman

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If you avoid exercising because you have severe asthma, you’re not alone. Many people with severe asthma say it holds them back from exercising for fear of bringing on asthma symptoms or an attack. But everyone needs to exercise, even people with severe asthma. In fact, did you know, exercise may help improve your asthma symptoms?

Regular exercise helps strengthen your lungs, boosts your immune system and keeps your weight under control, all of which can help with breathing. One study showshigher levels of activity and lower levels of sedentary (inactive) time help improve exercise capacity and asthma control, and may lead to less general inflammation.

Since you need more air to exercise, many people with severe asthma do experience symptoms when exercising, such as coughing, chest tightness and shortness of breath. But there are steps you can take to make breathing easier and prevent asthma attacks, so you can enjoy the benefits of leading an active life.

When asthma doesn't respond to consistent treatment, it's considered severe asthma. Watch this video for more severe asthma facts.

Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS Last Review Date: May 12, 2017

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