Contributed by Samantha Olivier
One in 12 people suffers from asthma in the US alone, and the number rises with each passing year. More often than not, people feel discouraged to overcome the condition and lead a healthy, energetic lifestyle due to the constant threat of an asthma attack, avoiding physical strain at all costs.
The definition of insanity is doing the same things over again expecting a different result. If you do nothing, then nothing will ever change. Here is how to take matters into your own hands, and empower yourself to banish asthma for good!
What is asthma and how do you control it?
Asthma comes in many forms and can impact people of all age, gender and build. Succinctly, an asthmatic condition is characterized by an inflammation of the bronchial tubes that are supposed to supply your lungs with oxygen. When inflamed, the bronchial tubes close up, unable to push oxygen through the body.
More severe asthmatic conditions are triggered by numerous allergens and can close up the bronchial tubes and the throat, inflaming the lungs to such a degree that a pneumonic condition ensues. You might be suffering from prepubescent asthma that failed to disappear in puberty, or you might have caught occupational asthma while exposed to dust, fumes, or living in a humid environment.
Asthma can be controlled with adequate prevention and treated with physical exercise and other natural long-term solutions. Try to minimize the use of corticosteroids as you get used to the strenuous physical activity. Asthma strikes in these situations, and while some individuals might need a dose or two of their inhaler prior to and after their workouts, most will need more sustainable solutions that will allow them to continually benefit from quality sleeping cycles – as asthma attacks occur mostly in the evening and the early morning hours.
Preventative measures include regular dusting, airing, and vacuuming, as well as preventative inhaler use on a regular basis. The air we breathe in is filled with different pollutants, and while there is little you can do about the environment, you can do a lot to better the air in your home. Find the best air purifier you can, and install it in our bedroom, where it will help you get a better quality rest, and help you combat your asthma.
How to train with asthma
Contrary to popular advice given out to asthmatics around the world, you need regular physical exercise (developing children in particular) in order to increase bronchial tolerance and strength, thus becoming resilient to asthmatic triggers over time. Physical exercise has numerous health benefits, including healthier cardio-vascular system and stronger immune system among many, all of which are crucial elements in your fight against this exasperating condition.
Therefore, the question you need to ask yourself is not whether you should be working out, but how frequently and how intensely. One thing is certain though, all physical exercise is beneficial and there’s no best or worst training method for fighting asthma, you simply need to tailor your workouts to be strenuous enough to force your body to become stronger, yet light enough to avoid a full asthma attack.
In time, you want to up the intensity and frequency of your weekly workout schedule to keep pushing your body to become stronger. No matter the sport you choose, the key principles will be the same:
- Use a pre-workout inhaler in needed but try to avoid it if you can
- Always adhere to gradual, dynamic warmups
- Start off light, gradually moving into more demanding challenges
- Listen to your body and do not push it too far beyond its current limit
- If you feel an attack sneaking up, lower the intensity and pause to recuperate
- Gradually end your workout by decreasing the intensity and breathing in a controlled fashion
- Come to a full stop and try to avoid using your inhaler for as long as you can
Stress is another key trigger of asthma and is directly correlated with the lack of physical activity, and by reducing your stress levels with regular physical exercise, you will not only build up your immune system but also prevent stress-induced asthma attacks.
Physical exercise is for everyone, and you should choose your preferred sport in accordance with your passions and aspirations. Remember to always follow these guidelines, implement the solutions and you will achieve your goals and ensure a happy, asthma free future.
Remember, you have the power to you to overcome asthma and become stronger, so take matters into your own hands and never let anyone persuade you otherwise!