Exercising in cold or dry air can trigger wheezing and other symptoms of asthma. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t exercise. Staying active can improve your overall health and well-being.
You can avoid asthma symptoms during or after exercise by taking these steps:
Avoid continuous exercise.
Activities that keep you moving for long periods, such as running, basketball or soccer, can trigger your symptoms. Sports such as baseball or football are less likely to be a problem because they have periods of slower activity. Hiking, walking and biking can let you control your activity level. Swimming is a good choice because you’re likely to breathe warm, moist air.
Avoid settings with unhealthy air.
Air pollution, perfumes, cleaning products and odors from fresh paint or new carpet can cause problems when you’re exercising.
Don’t exercise in cold or dry air.
This can dry your airways and trigger symptoms. If you are active in these conditions, breathing through your nose or wearing a scarf or mask over your mouth can help.
Use your asthma medicines.
Use short-acting (quick-relief) inhaled asthma medicine 10 to 15 minutes before you exercise. Long-acting inhaled medicine can also help—take them at least 30 minutes before your exercise.
Warm up before exercise.
Try walking or exercising slowly before you go full speed—the longer, the better. Cool down afterward with the same method.
*The content on this website is for informational purposes only and is not medical advice. Please consult a physician regarding your specific medical condition, diagnosis and/or treatment.