While many asthma patients fear the effects of strenuous exercise on lungs, healthcare experts suggest that exercise can actually strengthen the lungs if symptoms are kept under control.
Asthma patients are often warned of the many health-risks associated with strenuous physical activity. Because most asthma patients suffer from Exercise-Induced Bronchoconstriction (EIB), symptoms including wheezing, tight chest, cough, shortness of breath, and in some cases, chest pain, which appear within five to 20 minutes of moderate to strenuous exercising, making sufferers avoid exercise altogether.
Healthcare experts are now advising asthma patients to maintain a healthy lifestyle with regular exercise. With correct measures, including prescribed regimen of medication, asthma patients can improve lung strength and overall fitness levels with regular moderate physical activity.
Asthma symptoms are usually triggered by the cold and dry air that is quickly inhaled through the mouth after strenuous physical activity. To avoid this, exercises that involve shorter, sporadic periods of exertion are better options for asthma patients if accompanied by appropriate medication.
It is advisable for asthma patients to adjust medication intakes according to physical activity levels and in consultation with their doctors. It is also a good idea for asthma sufferers to gradually increase physical exertion and to be mindful of their individual fitness levels.
With a prevalence rate of 15 percent among adults and 18 percent in children, asthma rates in Kuwait are among the highest in the region, suggests a recent study conducted by Dr. Mousa Khadadah.