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According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 262 million people worldwide suffer from asthma, making it one of the most common chronic diseases. Despite the struggles of dealing with asthma, having asthma or other respiratory conditions does not mean that you cannot keep a healthy and active lifestyle. In fact, staying as active as possible is extraordinarily beneficial for people with respiratory conditions, as it can help improve lung function and reduce the severity of symptoms. When you’re not active and stuck in an inactivity cycle, it can make your asthma or other chronic respiratory condition worse. Avoiding physical activity leads to weakened muscles which requires more oxygen, this can leave you feeling more out of breath and fatigued over time.
Here are some tips for staying active despite having asthma and other respiratory conditions:
Consult with a Healthcare Professional: Before starting any new exercise program, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional, like your primary physician or an occupational therapist. They can assess the severity of the condition and recommend the appropriate activities and movements that would best suit your needs.
Choose Low-Impact Activities: People with respiratory conditions should choose activities that are low-impact, such as walking, swimming, cycling, or yoga. These activities can help improve cardiovascular health by getting your heart rate up without putting too much strain on the lungs.
Warm-Up and Cool Down: It is essential to warm up and cool down before and after any physical activity. This can help reduce the risk of exacerbating respiratory symptoms and prevent injury as it allows you to gradually build up the intensity of your exercise.
Use Medication: People with asthma or other respiratory conditions should use their medication as prescribed by their healthcare provider. This can help manage symptoms and reduce the risk of an asthma attack.
Monitor Symptoms: It is important to monitor symptoms before, during, and after physical activity. If symptoms worsen, it may be necessary to stop the activity and seek medical attention. You can use devices like peak flow meters to continually track your pulmonary function. Our digital spirometer, Spirolink®, is fully integrated with AsthmaGo™, our asthma monitoring app; this integration allows users to comprehensively monitor and record all symptoms, which can help you to better refine your treatment plan.
Avoid Triggers: People with respiratory conditions should avoid triggers that can worsen symptoms, such as air pollution, pollen, or cold weather. Avoid exercising outdoors when these triggers are present to prevent asthma attacks and bad flare-ups. Our app, AsthmaGo™ can alert you to when these triggers are present with the app’s air quality control feature.
Consider a Respiratory Device: There are respiratory devices, such as inhalers or nebulizers, that can help manage symptoms during physical activity. These devices should be used as prescribed by a healthcare professional.
Having asthma or other respiratory conditions does not mean that you shouldn’t go on that hike or to that cycle class! However, it is important to take precautions and consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new exercise program. By choosing low-impact activities, monitoring symptoms, and avoiding triggers, people with respiratory conditions can lead active and healthy lifestyles.
PSA: Please go to the ER if you have any of these sudden symptoms
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