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Strength Training for Asthma Sufferers

Strength Training for Asthma Sufferers

Strength training combined with weight-bearing aerobic exercises helps counteract the effect of asthma medications.

Exercising with asthma can be a big challenge for asthma sufferers.  Two things happen inside the lungs of women suffering with Asthma constriction, the tightening of the muscles surrounding the airways, and inflammation, the swelling and irritation of the airways. Constriction and inflammation cause narrowing of the airways, by a combination of muscle spasm, mucosal swelling and bronchial secretion with symptoms such as wheezing, coughing, chest tightness, or shortness of breath. Furthermore, there is increasing evidence that, if left untreated, asthma can cause long-term loss of lung function.

 In the words of Henry Hyde Salter (1882), a physician at the Charing Cross Hospital, London “I have seen several cases in which prolonged bodily exertion has been of great benefit, indeed, some in which it has been the best remedy to which the asthmatic could resort.

According to the American Council on Exercise, most asthma patients would benefit from regular exercise. Swimming has been considered an excellent exercise as one is less likely to strain muscles because the water itself can cushion each person’s unique body weight.
The fact still remains that no workout is complete without involvement of strength training. The trick is to begin slow and gradually increase on intensity.

Essentials of Strength Training

Avoid going beyond 70 to 80% of max of your cardio level as this will decrease the likelihood of you encountering any additional stress.  In case of an attack during workout, stop exercising immediately.

Remember: asthma is not a reason to avoid exercise. With proper diagnosis and the most effective treatment, you CAN enjoy the benefits of an exercise program without experiencing asthma symptoms.

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