The benefits of exercise are numerous and well known. Exercise can help with weight management, lower blood pressure, improve cardiac health, improve control of diabetes, lower the risk for certain cancers, improve quality of sleep, decrease risk for anxiety and depression, improve memory and brain function, and increase one’s chance for a longer life.
Regular exercise can also be beneficial for asthma. This may seem counterintuitive, since exercise can trigger asthma symptoms. But a number of studies have shown that regular exercise can improve overall asthma control, performance on lung function tests, quality of life, and exercise tolerance, and reduce the need for some asthma medications. The more regularly an individual with asthma exercises, the less likely exercise will trigger their asthma symptoms.
While these studies show that asthma can be better controlled with regular exercise, they don’t mean that asthmatics who exercise will never need medication or that you should start an exercise regimen by trying to sprint up Pikes Peak on a freezing cold day. Most of the studies involved people who were not very active at first, so they began with lower intensity exercises and gradually increased how strenuously they exercised. Your asthma specialist at CAAC can discuss with you how to better control your asthma so that you can exercise more regularly and reap all the benefits that result.