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Don't take my breath away

These activities designed to strengthen the body also build the lung capacity of the asthmatics.


By JASMINE ONG



MAY 2011

“Staying in shape is very important, especially for asthmatics. This is because your lungs work better when you’re in top physical form,” says Dr. John Ojeda of the Asian Hospital and Medical Center and Sta. Ana Hospital. As long as the condition is properly managed and upon a doctor’s advice, asthmatics can engage in exercise and sport, he adds. Here are some physical activities that are ideal for asthmatics:


Swimming

Debbie Avila, P.E. teacher and graduate of the University of the Philippines’ College of Human Kinetics, recommends swimming as “one of the best exercises a person with asthma can undertake.” Being a swimming instructor herself, Avila says the sport “strengthens the lungs, and the kind of breathing you do when you swim doesn’t generally cause tightness in the chest.”

Dr. Ojeda agrees with Avila’s assessment; but warns that chlorine can trigger flare ups in some patients.


Routine activities

Avila also suggests building an exercise routine around daily activities. “Walk up the stairs instead of taking the escalator or elevator, stretch to reach high objects, and use your laundry baskets as weights.” However, remember to wear a mask to avoid allergens like smog, pollen, and dust if you exercise outdoors or run errands.


Aerobics and slow-moving exercises

Aerobic activities like dancing, cycling, and walking build lung capacity; while exercises that promote flexibility like Yoga and Pilates could aid in relaxed and proper breathing.


Other sports

Golf, bowling, and group sports like volleyball and baseball are suitable for many asthmatics as they only require short bursts of physical exertion, allowing the player to rest when it isn’t his turn.


To know more about exercises for asthmatics, check out the May issue of Health Today, now available in the newsstands.


ALSO IN THE HEALTH TODAY MAY ISSUE:


Birth spacing makes a big difference. Why planning the next pregnancy is beneficial to you and your partner.

An asthma-free sanctuary for kids. Keys to keep your tots from asthma attacks at home.

Coping with calamities. A survival guide for earthquakes, tsunamis, and nuclear disasters.







Don't take my breath away - Exercises for asthmatics


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