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Sports & Freetime

Sport & physical exertion

As soon as asthmatics exert themselves, coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath may occur. Nevertheless, sport and physical activity are also important for asthma sufferers for the well-being and mental balance and health - both for adults and for children. Sport makes you more resilient overall, because a good level of training can not only increase the threshold for exertion asthma, but also increase the self-assessment of children with asthma in particular. In addition, physical exercise also has a positive effect on the transport of mucus out of the lungs.

All endurance sports (such as running, swimming, cycling or hiking, but also dancing and inline skating) are suitable for people with asthma. Endurance sport not only strengthens the heart and circulation, but also leads to greater depth of breath. This also applies to targeted strength training that improves posture and strengthens the respiratory muscles. Choose a sport that you start slowly and do regularly. In this way you can get your body used to the exertion and then gradually increase the load. For example, it is cheaper to swim your laps at a moderate speed every morning than to jog excessively once every two weeks.

Abrupt changes between exercise and rest should be avoided: your airways can react to this with discomfort. Therefore, you should warm up before exercising and, at the end of the exercise, slowly and gradually slow down to cool down again. It is important that the anaerobic threshold is not exceeded during exercise. This means:

  • Slow down when you run out of breath.
  • Avoid peak loads.
  • Do not exaggerate stressful phases and alternate regularly with recovery phases.
  • Always adapt the sporting activities to the current lung function.
  • In addition, possible fluctuations in lung function
    check with the peak flow meter.

The prerequisite for unadulterated fun in sport is the intake of certain medications that protect you from stress asthma. In order to determine the degree of your stress asthma, you should do a pulmonary function test on the treadmill or bicycle ergometer with your doctor before your first training.

Discuss with your doctor which medication you should take before exercise and which medication may help you during exercise if you still experience symptoms. The better you are on medication, the less often you will need your emergency spray. Nevertheless, you should always have the spray to hand when exercising as usual.

Although asthma sports groups are still relatively rare in Germany, there are now lung sports groups in many cities (in which patients with other chronic lung diseases also train). Here you can get active together with other affected persons or find out about the sports options that are suitable for you. The aim of the asthma or lung sports lesson is:

  • to become more aware of breathing, posture and movements
  • To learn methods to facilitate the movements of the diaphragm
  • Learn techniques to relax the shoulder auxiliary muscles

You should then continue this workout regularly at home, taking at least ten minutes for each asthma exercise.