Exercising may cut asthma attacks risk: study
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Not only is it safe for asthmatics to exercise, but doing so could reduce their risk of asthma symptoms or attacks, a new study has revealed.
Many people with asthma report avoiding exercise because they're afraid it could trigger symptoms including shortness of breath, wheezing or a full-blown asthma attack, said review author Kristin V. Carson.
These fears might be encouraged from misreading their symptoms, their family's beliefs about exercise and asthma, or even from their physicians.
Over time, Carson explained, patients can become out of shape, losing muscle mass and cardiovascular fitness.
That makes any future attempts at physical activity significantly harder, increasing the chances that patients will become fatigued and breathless and further discouraging physical activity.
"This results in a spiraling cycle," she said.
To find out whether exercise was a danger to asthmatics, Carson and her colleagues reviewed previous studies that looked at the effects of physical training on people with asthma, comparing patients who received no or minimal physical activity to those who exercised for at least 20 minutes, twice a week, over the course of four weeks.
The researchers discovered that the patients who had exercised using physical training as varied as running outdoors or on a treadmill, cycling, swimming or circuit training were no more likely to have a serious asthma-related problem than those who weren't exercising or who did light exercising such as yoga.
Carson further claimed that their findings showed that patients in exercise programs improved their cardiovascular fitness, which in turn could reduce asthma symptoms over time.
Besides this, some limited evidence from the included studies also suggested that exercise improved patients' quality of life, she added, which could contribute to other health benefits and improved psychological well-being.
"We found no reason for people with stable asthma to refrain from regular exercise.