Laker Help Link
Exercising with Asthma
Asthma is a chronic lung disease characterized by episodes or attacks of inflammation and narrowing of small airways in response to a variety of "triggers." Asthma attacks can vary from mild to life threatening, and involve shortness of breath, cough, wheezing, chest pain or tightness, or a combination of these symptoms. Having asthma does not mean you cannot exercise. Actually, exercise can improve lung capacity and efficiency, and decrease the sensitivity and severity of asthma attacks.
Tips for exercising with asthma:
- Consult your doctor before beginning a new exercise program or significantly increasing activity.
- If your doctor has prescribed an inhaler to control your asthma, discuss specific instructions on when to take the medication before exercising and how long the effects will last. Always carry the inhaler with you while exercising.
- Increase your warm up to 10-15 minutes, and your cool down to 10-30 minutes.
- Be sure to breathe correctly by exhaling on the exertion phase of the exercise.
- Avoid exercise in cold, dry or dusty air. Be aware of the pollen index if exercising outdoors. Exercising mid- to late- morning may be best. On the other hand, swimming is an excellent exercise due to the warm, humid environment.
- Avoid exercise if your asthma is not under control.
For more information:
- Click here for a helpful article from the American Council on Exercise.
- Take the Asthma Control Test at and share the results with your doctor.
Page last modified September 14, 2010