According to World Health Organization, an estimated 300 million people suffer from asthma worldwide. In many people, strenuous exercise can worsen their symptoms .
Does that means asthmatic people could cannot exercise or get involved in physical activities?
Sports and Asthma
Many well-known sportsmen have managed their asthma well are successful in their chosen sports, including local Malaysian athlete M. Ramachandran, hockey player Gary Roberts and triathletes Sharon Donnelly.
Safe and Effective Exercise
A recent guideline has been developed by Exercise and Sports Science Australia (ESSA) on safe and effective exercise prescription and supervision for asthma patient.
The recommended exercise for most asthmatic patients should last 20-60 minutes, 3-5 times a week. It is not much different from other healthy ordinary individuals.
What Are The Suitable Exercise For Asthmatics?
The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAI) has listed a few recognized activities that are better for people suffering exercise induced asthma / bronchoconstriction.
For instance, swimming is less likely to trigger asthma symptoms, usually swimmers are exposed to warm, moist air as they exercise. Additional benefit gained through swimming is strengthening of the upper body muscles particularly the chest muscles.
Other type of exercises which are suitable for asthmatics are :
- Leisure biking
- Team sports that require short bursts of energy eg : baseball, volleyball, gymnastics
- Short-term track and field sports are preferred compared to long distance / on-going activity in the game eg : football, hockey, basketball, long distance running
People with asthma are also advised to avoid cold weather activities eg : skiing
What Should I Do if I Want To Start An Exercise?
Generally, people with asthma induced exercise can still excel in any sports, with proper diagnosis and intervention strategies.
These are some of the practical steps to be taken when you decide to start an exercise :
- Do limit your exercise whenever you have viral infection or during low/cold temperature and high pollution levels
Maintaining an active and healthy lifestyle is important for both your physical and mental health, especially so if you are an asthmatic.
Asthma is not a reason to avoid exercise.
Without exercise, asthmatic people will have low aerobic fitness, and in long-term, increase your risk to develop obesity as well as other chronic diseases related to inactivity and obesity.
- American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, AAAAI. www.aaai.org
- Canadian Lung Association. www.lung.ca
- Exercise and Sports Science Australia, ESSA. essa.org.au
|14 Julai 2015
|Mohd Khairi b. Maslehan
|Dr. Azza bt. Omar