Great Exercises for Those with Asthma

Great Exercises for Those with Asthma

Among those who suffer from asthma, one of the most difficult aspects of the ailment is how it compounds other health related factors.  For instance, many who suffer from asthma or other respiratory ailments do not get adequate exercise; because an asthmatic person is concerned about a flair-up of symptoms, routine exercise regimens are not undertaken, which of course leads to other negative health effects.

It really doesn’t have to be like this, though.

Those who properly manage their symptoms and take extra precautions prior to engaging in strenuous exercise activities soon learn that they can enjoy the same results as anyone else.  It’s just a matter of planning and properly managing symptoms.

The planning part is selecting the right exercise activities.  While it is notionally possible for asthma sufferers to incorporate, let’s say, cross-country running into their fitness routine, this may not be ideal.  Running is an activity that often precipitates asthma attacks, so it behooves asthmatics to be a bit choosier about which fitness activities they undertake.

On the other hand, there are a number of exercises that respiratory health experts believe are best suited towards those with asthma, and these activities are not only great at improving and maintaining your overall fitness level, but can also be beneficial towards improving asthma symptoms!


On first glance, swimming would seem to bring some of the same problems for asthma as running, in that it is a heavy-breathing activity, which often leaves the participant short of breath.  But the pool atmosphere offers some conditions that are ideal for asthmatics: the warm, moist environment eases breathing troubles and is comforting on the lungs.  And of course, swimming is a great exercise for general fitness, working so much of your body from head to toe.


Yoga is thought by many to be the most ideal exercise for asthmatics because it has so many health benefits while putting only the mildest strains on the lungs.  Moreover, yoga’s emphasis on each breathe is thought to be very advantageous to those who have breathing difficulties.  As if that wasn’t enough, yoga’s benefits to the mind-body connection provide wondrous effects to every region of the body, including the lungs!

Team Sports

Team sports are a mixed bag for those with respiratory ailments, as some require consistent and prolonged energy that can be less than ideal for those with breathing issues – for instance soccer or basketball.  And others that take place in colder climates – such as hockey – are not perfect either, as the cold weather is known to exacerbate asthma symptoms.  Now this isn’t to say that these activities are off limits to asthmatics, but they would take more preparation and extra caution to ensure that an attack doesn’t come up and bite you as you are competing.  However, there are a handful of less strenuous team sports that require energy in shorter bursts – volleyball, baseball and gymnastics, for instance – that are thought to be ideal for those with asthma.


There are many other fitness activities well-suited for asthmatics such as short aerobic stints, weight lifting, walking (an underrated exercise) and martial arts.  The biggest takeaway from all of this is that exercise regimens are just as important – or perhaps more important – for those with asthma than the average person, and those who suffer from the ailment can do most of the same activities provided that they plan well, have the blessing of their doctor, and utilize the asthma aids available to them which run the gamut from simple inhalers to more intensive nebulizers.