Exercise and Asthma
Exercise is good for all children and children with asthma are no exception! But it can be difficult to enjoy sports, playing or even just being physically active if your asthma is not well-controlled. For some people with asthma, exercise is their only asthma trigger, but for most children with asthma, exercise is one of several things that can bring on asthma symptoms. Following these exercise tips will help you have the best success with sports.
Take Good Care Of Your Asthma
Your asthma must be under good control every day in order for you to be able to exercise and play sports. It isn't enough to just control your asthma when you play sports you must use your asthma medicines every day if that is how they have been prescribed.
Just like you condition your body for exercise with stretching and warm-ups, you should get your lungs in good shape for a work-out too. Your asthma care provider may prescribe an inhaler to use before exercise to open up your airways and make them less sensitive during exercise. Often, this inhaler is the same one that you use for a quick relief medicine. If you are asked to use an inhaler before exercise, you should take the prescribed number of puffs 10 to 30 minutes before exercise. Don't forget to use your spacer device if needed!
Listen To Your Body
If exercise is triggering your asthma, your body will send you signals. Just like listening to a coach or teacher you need to listen to your asthma. If your chest feels tight, you start to wheeze or you get a frequent dry cough, your body is telling you that exercise is triggering tightening of the airways. So what do you do? Stop, rest, use your quick relief inhaler as instructed and tell an adult. If the asthma symptoms go away, you can rejoin the activity and continue to enjoy yourself.
Don't Forget Your Nose
Your nose is helpful in warming and humidifying air before it gets to your lungs. But this only works if you are able to breathe through your nose. If your nose is stopped up or congested due to allergies, you will have to take breaths from your mouth forcing cold, dry air into your lungs and triggering more of an asthma response. Keep your nose open by using saline nasal spray as often as you like. Your asthma care provider may recommend a steroid nasal spray to use in addition to the saline spray to help open your nasal passages. Taking good care of your nose will help your breathing during exercise.
Exercise, playing and sports are supposed to be fun. Choose activities that you enjoy. If organized, team sports aren't for you, find another activity that you enjoy. Maybe it is taking your dog for a walk or walking with your family in the evening. Perhaps you just like to dance around your room. With a little creativity and communication, you can finds ways of keeping physically active, staying healthy and having fun!