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.
- Strengthens your heart
- Strengthens your lungs
- Improves your immune system
- Makes you more tolerant to exercise
- Reduces airway inflammation
- Improves lung function
- Improves your asthma control (when used as an adjunct with controller medicines)
- Improves your mood
- Decreases feelings of depression.
- Increases your energy
- Helps you control your weight
- Reduces the risk of diabetes
- Improves your overall quality of life
- Reduces your risk of getting heart disease
- Reduces your risk of developing hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Reduces your risk of developing osteoporosis
- Reduces your risk of getting colon cancer
- Reduces your risk of getting breast cancer
- Helps you live longer
- Helps you think better
- Helps you learn better
- You feel overall healthier
- You feel happier
- You have more confidence
- It helps you deal with stress better.
- You have fewer asthma episodes.
- 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.
How often do you experience a shortage in your asthma medication?