Benefits of Exercise for Asthmatics

By: Ryan Buckley, MD

Ryan Buckley, MD

The relationship between asthma and exercise can be challenging to navigate for patients as exercise is a common trigger of asthma symptoms such as shortness of breath, cough and wheeze. However, more and more evidence suggests exercise has a tremendously beneficial impact on asthma and overall health.

A recent study aimed to take a closer look at the effect of a specific form of exercise known as high-intensity interval training (HIIT) on asthma.  

A group in Denmark evaluated 150 adults with persistent asthma requiring treatment with a daily corticosteroid inhaler. They had 1 group perform HIIT (defined as 3 sessions of 30 minutes per week with heart rate above 90 % maximum for at least 16 minutes) and the other group continued their standard therapy – including any form of exercise they would typically perform.

After 6 months, the HIIT group were able to reduce their inhaled corticosteroid dose by an average of 24 %. The control group had no significant decrease.

Asthma symptoms and qualify of life also improved significantly in the HIIT group as compared to the control group.

Overall, this study adds to the growing body of evidence that exercise can be a useful tool in the treatment of asthma. It can reduce prescription medication use, alleviate symptoms and improve quality of life.

There is no one size fits all solution for exercise regimens. Every patient with asthma is unique. Please reach out to your asthma specialist before embarking on any new exercise regimen – we would love to help you reach your goals! Book your appointment today!

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