27 Benefits Of Exercising With Asthma

Last updated: April 2021

One of the greatest ironies of having asthma is that most of us have Exercise Induced Asthma (EIA). Some of us spend lots of time indoors to avoid outdoor allergens. Some of us have poorly controlled or severe asthma. Yet, we’re all told that we need to exercise anyway. What’s the deal?

Well, the deal is that asthma can lead to a sedentary lifestyle

Rather than staying physically active, we might sit around inside. We might stay home rather than going to school or work. We read books rather than playing sports. We might spend our days watching TV or surfing the net. We read. We write. We spend extra time indoors to avoid outdoor asthma triggers. We avoid cleaning due to dust mites and mold spores.

Surely there are some advantages to living this way. For me, it resulted in what I’m doing right now: writing. It made me a writer. My brothers went with dad to haul wood. They went camping. I stayed home and read books. I wrote. I became studious.

But, too much sedentary living is not good

As I got older, I sat around eating too much. I drank beer! Gained weight. I became less tolerant to exercise. Then I sat around even more. My asthma got worse. I felt sluggish. I felt winded when climbing stairs. It affected my mood and my energy level. It made my asthma control worse. It made it harder to control my asthma. It busted my confidence. Need I go on?

Then one day when I was 28 my friends invited me to the gym. There were seven of us. I had no interest in lifting weights and riding exercise bikes. I had no interest in treadmills. But, I decided to go anyway. That was 20 years ago. My friends quit after only a few months. I am still going strong. Why? Because of the benefits.

So, what are the benefits of staying physically active?

The benefits of exercising, or at least staying physically active, are overwhelming. It seems every week I’m reading about some new benefit. Here is just a small list.

  1. Strengthens your heart
  2. Strengthens your lungs
  3. Improves your immune system
  4. Makes you more tolerant to exercise
  5. Reduces airway inflammation
  6. Improves lung function
  7. Improves your asthma control (when used as an adjunct with controller medicines)
  8. Improves your mood
  9. Decreases feelings of depression.
  10. Increases your energy
  11. Helps you control your weight
  12. Reduces the risk of diabetes
  13. Improves your overall quality of life
  14. Reduces your risk of getting heart disease
  15. Reduces your risk of developing hypertension (high blood pressure)
  16. Reduces your risk of developing osteoporosis
  17. Reduces your risk of getting colon cancer
  18. Reduces your risk of getting breast cancer
  19. Helps you live longer
  20. Helps you think better
  21. Helps you learn better
  22. You feel overall healthier
  23. You feel happier
  24. You have more confidence
  25. It helps you deal with stress better.
  26. You have fewer asthma episodes.
  27. Many more benefits. Can you name any?

There you go! That’s why I exercise. That’s why I do it. That’s why the experts recommend that we all exercise, even if we have severe asthma.

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