I have Exercise Induced Asthma (EIA). Research shows that I’m not alone. Upwards to 80% of asthmatics also have it. This can sometimes make it hard to exercise. Still, most asthma experts recommend that all asthmatics exercise. This is because the benefits of exercise are overwhelming. You can do it. You can exercise. It’s just a matter of finding what you can do and what your limits are. Here are 16 exercises that I think are ideal for asthmatics.
- Swimming. The air around pools is usually warm and humid and less likely to induce asthma. Swimming is also less likely to trigger EIA than other exercises. Chlorine can sometimes cause trouble, so that’s something to keep in mind here.
- Walking. It’s the most basic of exercises and a great place to start. I walk almost every day. I try to get outdoors. If it’s raining or too cold out, I use the treadmill.
- Hiking. A walk among nature is something I find very enjoyable and tolerable. If it’s cold out you can wear a scarf over your mouth and nose. This helps to humidify the air you inhale and keep it warm.
- Jogging. After building up endurance, this is a good place to move to next. You can do this outside or indoors on a treadmill.
- Biking. It’s usually pretty easy on the asthma. You can ride a bike outdoors or a stationary bike indoors.
- Lifting weights. This can be done year round. It’s a good way of keeping up your strength and muscle tone.
- Baseball. It’s a team sport that involves being active in short bursts. Other than the dust, I found baseball to be a very easy on asthma.
- Football. It’s a team sport that requires you to keep up your strength and only requires short bursts of physical activity.
- Volleyball. Like baseball and football, it’s a team sport that only requires short bursts of activity. I have rarely had trouble the few times I’ve played this sport.
- Martial Arts. I used to do Karate when I was a kid. Here you focus on stretching and breathing as a bonus.
- Yoga. I have never tried this. Some research shows that it focuses on stretching and breathing, both of which are good for asthmatics.
- Gymnastics. You focus on stretching, breathing, coordination, and muscle strengthening. My asthmatic daughter does very well with this.
- Golf. Similar to walking among nature, only with a swing involved. The only problem here is when the grass is being cut. But it’s usually good on the asthma. You can also ride a cart if you’re having a bad asthma day.
- Kayaking. A simple sport for anyone with asthma.
- Canoeing. Same as kayaking. I always found this easy on the asthma.
- Other. There are many activities you can do with asthma to stay active and get exercise. Let us know what you do in the comments below.
So, are there any exercises that are off limits?
Well, I personally don’t put any exercises or sports on the do not do list. There are certainly some activities that tend to be difficult for asthmatics. These would include sprinting, basketball, skiing, and hockey. You can pretty much include any cold weather sports, including sledding. Still, I believe asthma shouldn’t stop you from doing anything you want to do. Just know your own limits. Oh, and one more thing. Make sure you carry your inhaler with you wherever you go — just in case.