Asthma & Exercise

Exercise Facts

  • Exercise makes your heart and lungs stronger.
  • Exercise increases muscle strength.
  • Exercise improves posture and makes you more flexible.
  • Exercise improves self-esteem, confidence and gives you energy.
  • Feeling short of breath may be normal when you exercise. But when you stop exercising, the shortness of breath should go away.


Asthma Facts

  • Asthma is a chronic disease of the airways in the lungs.
  • Children with asthma can lead healthy active lives.
  • Asthma can be different for each person.
  • Asthma cannot be cured, but it can be controlled.


Asthma and Exercise

  • Regular exercise is important for everyone, especially those with asthma.
  • Children with asthma should be able to do any exercise or play any sport.
  • Well controlled asthma should not limit exercise.
  • Exercise may trigger asthma symptoms soon after starting or during exercise.
  • If asthma stops your child from being active, asthma is out of control. See their doctor.
  • More than 1 in 10 Olympic athletes have asthma.
  • The only exercise people with asthma should not do is scuba diving.


Asthma Symptoms During Exercise

  • Do not start exercising if you are having asthma symptoms.
  • Asthma symptoms may include cough, wheeze, shortness of breath or a tight feeling in the chest.
  • You may have other symptoms such as tiring easily or not being able to keep up with your friends.
  • Prolonged exercise (e.g. running, soccer, hockey) is more likely to cause symptoms than short bursts of exercise such as volleyball, baseball or tennis.
  • Exercising in a warm, humid setting (eg. swimming) may be less likely to cause symptoms.
  • For some children with asthma, exercise can cause symptoms, but exercise does not cause asthma.


How to Prevent Symptoms:

  • Keep asthma under control.
  • Warm up before exercising and cool down after.
  • If necessary, use your Reliever medicine 10 to 15 minutes before exercise. If you need your Reliever medicine more than 3 times a week, talk to your doctor. Your asthma is not under control.
  • If possible, breathe through your nose instead of your mouth when you exercise.
  • Avoid exercising outside when air pollution is bad or pollen counts are high. Exercise indoors instead.
  • Cover your mouth and nose when exercising outside in cold air.


Asthma Allie Says:

"Stay Active!"


The Children's Allergy & Asthma Education Centre © 2014