Life in the Great Outdoors, Winter Sport and Asthma

Last updated: May 2018

After several days of overcast skies and gloomy weather, the sun finally came out and not just a little bit of sun but a glorious, full sun, blue sky kind of day. In my neck of the woods, we tend to see less sun in the winter and maximizing these days is so critical. The only challenge with the blue skies and sunshine was that it was still fairly chilly outside. We have received a lot of fresh snow and the game plan was to go snowshoeing, which has come a long way from the version you may remember from your elementary school gym class/recess days. Snowshoes are lighter and less clunky, they provide a great work and it is super fun. Making it, even more, fun is enjoying an afternoon with friends.

When the mercury dips, there is certainly less motivation to go outside, let alone to do an outdoor physical activity. However, as long you are prepared and have cleared any changes in exercise regime with your docs. It is possible to really enjoy the winter wonderfully.


In preparation to have your own winter wonderland experience (My preparation may differ from yours.) I pre-medicated with my rescue inhaler. This is part of my action plan for general exercise) and especially important for me during times when I may be exposed to triggers such as cold weather! While I am on the track of rescue inhaler, I am sure everyone is really good at this, however, do not forget to stick that inhaler in a pocket or backpack that you will have with your adventure.

Check the Weather

Check the weather, you want to make sure that you are both dressed for the weather and that you are not hitting a weather/asthma threshold. For example, are there any extreme cold alerts or alerts in which chronic conditions are discouraged from being outdoors? This would be a time to skip winter outdoor exercise and move to name indoor environment. Preparation can save a lot of heartbreak. Dress in layers, as you warm up, you may want to shed a layer or open some venting seems to regulate your body temperature. Always be on the lookout for changing weather stymies and patterns and times where the temps may be falling and you may need to add additional protection or shorten your exposure to the elements.

Protective Clothing

Face protection masks are found helpful by some, I have a buff which essentially is a fancy microfibre neck warmer thing that warms up my air, it is light weight which means I can breathe easily and not feel like I am suffocating. I am not a huge fan of bulky winter scarves, it is an odd severe asthma thing but I am really uncomfortable with having things constricting my neck or things that feel weighty in that area. I am sure this is a leftover circumstance from my experience with significant exacerbation where even a necklace in a Dia post felt heavy. All other winter outerwear applies to being prepared, don't forget that torque!

Indoor Activities

Sometimes the sunshine or stars do not align and you need to rework your plan to be inside. There are other great activities that you can do indoor, skating, cycling, taking a class (perhaps) even trying something new out. In 2017, I think I will finally try Tai Chi, I have had it on my list for years. I have friends that swear by it for stress relief, less stress means better breathing in my books. There are also machines/trainers that mimic winter activity, for example, cross country ski machines, there are alpine simulators but they are crazy expensive, hard to find unless you are connected to a winter sports training center.

With a little bit of modification, it is possible to enjoy the great outdoors in the winter and get a little physical activity in as well.As my favorite PA (Physical Activity) peeps would say "Keep fit and Have Fun"- Hal and Joanne for Participation.

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