Three Ways to Improve Exercise with Asthma

Many people with asthma find their breathing worsens with exercise, but asthma does not need to limit exercise! So, how can we improve exercise performance and minimize limitations in spite of asthma?

First, there is no replacement for control of underlying asthma. The more complete the asthma control at baseline, the less impact will be noted on exercise, meaning that for a person with persistent asthma symptoms, it’s important to follow through with daily asthma therapies such as inhaled steroid medications. It’s also essential to keep underlying allergies fully controlled.

Second, a good warm-up before exercise can help lessen exercise-induced asthma problems. After a fairly aggressive warm-up, there is often a period in which people notice far less exercise-induced asthma.

Third: Many people find that use of their rescue inhaler (such as Albuterol), used 15-20 minutes prior to exercise can help lessen or prevent exercise symptoms. However, they don’t work immediately. People that use Albuterol immediately before exercise (instead of 15-20 minutes prior) are often disappointed at a lack of effect. Regardless of the severity of exercise-induced asthma, work with your Asthma specialist to help prevent limitations in exercise this season.