Which sport helps with asthma and what to watch out for

About 3.5 million people with asthma treated with drugs live in Germany. But how best to deal with it in everyday life? For example, should you avoid sports and exercise if you have asthma? On the contrary – say experts and studies.

Asthma is a widespread disease in Germany. According to the health atlas, 3.5 million people are addicted to drugs.1 Most cases are boys under the age of 14 and women over the age of 70. However, the diagnosis of asthma does not mean that you have to take it easy and give up physical activity. Instead, experts and studies recommend exercising even if you have asthma, as this can alleviate the symptoms of the disease. However, you should pay attention to a few things.

Causes and symptoms of asthma

Asthma is a chronic lung disease that can affect people of all ages. The causes are not yet fully understood, but there are a number of risk factors. For example, allergic diseases such as hay fever or neurodermatitis (in the affected and in the family) and when people are born with below average weight. In addition, boys are affected more often than girls. Also, if parents smoke, it can promote asthma in children.2

Also interesting: 3 household items that can trigger and worsen asthma

The most common symptoms of asthma include:

  • cough and cough irritation
  • stuffiness
  • shortness of breath on exertion
  • Breathing noise (whistling, buzzing)
  • chest tightness
  • fatigue and exhaustion
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Exercise can help with asthma

But there is also good news for asthmatics. For example, if you exercise regularly, you can raise your asthma trigger threshold during exercise. This means that you can put more strain on your body without breathing. This is because lung capacity increases and you can take in more oxygen. Sport also improves the transport of mucus in the lungs, which, among other things, reduces the urge to cough.3

The following endurance sports are especially recommended for asthmatics:

Endurance sports increase lung volume and improve breathing depth. It is important that you start exercising slowly so that you have enough time for your body and especially your lungs to get used to the effort. In general, it is better for people with asthma to train at low intensity several times a week than to train at high intensity once a week. A good indicator of low intensity is if you can talk to someone, for example while running or cycling.

Also interesting: For allergy sufferers, it is best to run in the morning

The study shows the positive effect of exercise on asthma

British researchers have studied the effect of sports activities on asthmatics. To this end, they evaluated 25 international studies that included data from more than 1,800 subjects.4 Because asthmatics in particular do little sport. “We found that physical activity interventions had significant benefits in terms of increased physical activity, reduced sitting time, improved quality of life and reduced asthma symptoms,” said one author of the University of East Anglia study.5

Also interesting: The expert gives tips on how to protect and strengthen the lungs

Strength training is also suitable for asthmatics

Another study showed that not only endurance sports have a positive effect on asthma symptoms.6 Because researchers have studied the benefits of various sports, including strength training. It turned out that people with asthma responded to strength as well as non-asthmatics without any complications. Assuming they trained with light weights and a high number of repetitions 2-3 times a week.

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Consult a doctor before exercising

It is important for asthmatics to talk to their doctor before exercising. He has to decide if he needs to take medication before exercise. You should also always have an emergency spray on hand when exercising in case of unexpected problems. In principle, asthmatics should observe the following points during exercise:

  • Warm up for 5 to 10 minutes before exercising
  • If you breathe, slow down or reduce your exertion
  • do not push the limit
  • Alternate stress phases with recovery phases
  • cool down slowly / do not stop abruptly after exercise


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