Asthma Exercises in Winter

Asthma sufferers deal with respiratory problems that can compromise their ability to breathe freely. Many conditions can trigger asthma attacks and cold weather is one of them. When the weather gets cold, it can constrict the blood vessels in an effort to maintain warmth.

In asthmas sufferers this can bring about a host of symptoms. When exposed to cold dry air they may experience wheezing, shortness of breath, tightness in the chest and coughing spells. This can happen before exercise (if not properly warmed up) or after a particularly long and exhausting workout.

If you are alone, this can be a dangerous situation. Without proper medical attention, an asthma attack can turn very bad.

Here are some tips for those asthmatics who exercise in the winter to help keep them safe.

* Work out with a friend – If an asthma attack does occur, you will need attention. Someone with you can assist for faster treatment.

* Use your inhalers – Before you go out in the cold air, use your inhaler to open up respiratory passages for freer breathing.

* Stay hydrated – One trigger for an attack could be lack of moisture in your body. Drink plenty of water and electrolyte drinks before you go out in the air and while you are exercising. It keeps your airways moisturized. Dryness can lead to coughing.

* Wear a scarf or a mask – Introducing cold air into your lungs can be a shock. Wearing a scarf over your mouth can keep your breath from chilling up as you inhale the outside air. The mask will warm the air coming into your lungs and keep an asthma attack at bay.

* Exercise indoors – The air indoors is warmer and you can exercise without increasing the threat of asthma attacks. Even so, keep your asthma under control for strenuous sessions like basketball games, high impact aerobics and kickboxing.

* Use the pool – Swimming is a good overall exercise. It is easy on the joints and works just about every muscle group in the body. Swimming laps can increase circulation and lung capacity. For asthmatics it works best if the pool is heated.

* Layer your clothing – If you do go outside, stay as warm as you can. Cover all extremities to prevent the body from losing heat at those points.

Even with well-controlled asthma, exercising in winter can be dangerous. Take all precautions that can you to get the best out of your workouts and your lungs.