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Excercise Asthma and Bronchospasm

By on March 17, 2012 in Dieting, Diseases, Health, Prevention with 0 Comments

Asthma and Exercise-Induced Bronchospasm

Up to 85% of asthmatics show symptoms of wheezing during or after exercise. In addition, many patients diagnosed with asthma but with allergies or family history of allergy have bronchospasm or tightness of the airways caused by exercise. Other symptoms include rapid heartbeat, cough, abdominal pain and chest tightness occuring five to ten minutes after exercise. For years, the inability to participate in athletic programs and / or recreational sports has been an obstacle for children and adult asthmatics. It was thought that asthmatics could not and should not take part in team sports and strenuous activities. Today, with proper detection and treatment, those afflicted with asthma and exercise-induced bronchospasm can do almost any kind of exercise, which is beneficial to your physical health as well as emotional well-being.

Why does it happen?

The outdoor exercise in cold and low humidity (dry air) tends to worsen symptoms as it is believed that both factors increase the heat loss from the airways. Nasal obstruction worsens exercise-induced asthma as the inspired air is moistened and warmed by the nose. Environmental pollutants (sulfur dioxide and IV), high concentrations of pollens and viral infections of the respiratory tract increases the likelihood and severity of exercise-induced wheezing.

Activities That Cause Wheezing

In general, exercises or sports that may trigger episodes of bronchospasm are those that require intense physical activity at moderate periods of time and mainly in open environments (such as basketball, tennis, racquetball, racing middle course, cycling races, etc) , however, deliberate and continuous exercise, with progressive increase of physical effort (aerobic), are less likely to cause problems (swimming, hiking, “jogging” low-impact aerobics, long distance running, etc.). .

It is possible, nevertheless, achieve a “tolerance” of the bronchial system to the IEA in most sports, with techniques of “warming” appropriate and adapted to each case, supervised by an experienced trainer.


To properly diagnose this problem, the specialist is based on adequate clinical history, detailing the type of symptoms and variables of the exercise, as well as special breathing tests performed with instruments to measure air flow and lung capacity (spirometry) both at rest (without symptoms) and after undergoing various types and times of year. Sometimes asthma can be diagnosed definitively, even without apparent symptoms.


Based on the degree of reactivity to exercise should make a careful selection of type of exercise or sport that suits you, and proper planning how. Most patients with asthma or exercise-induced bronchospasm and should benefit treated with appropriate medicines before starting the exercise, to enable them to participate in any activity they choose.

Swimming is often considered the sport of choice for asthmatics and those with a tendency toward broncoesapasmo for exercise because of its many positive factors: a warm, moist, and generally available throughout the year. Apparently, also the horizontal position helps to mobilize mucus from the bottom of the lungs, and helps tone the upper body muscles.

Other activities include sports recommended for asthmatics involving the use of short bursts and not very frequent energy, such as baseball, karate, wrestling, track and field career short distance, golf, and gymnastics.

Cold weather events (such as skiing and ice hockey) or continuous non-stop activities (such as basketball, field hockey or football) are more likely to induce bronchospasm in the airways. However, many asthmatics have found that with proper training and care, can excel as runners or even as basketball players. There is a long list of asthmatics who have achieved excellence in all sports, even making records and Olympic medals.

Drugs that can be used before exercise to prevent bronchospasm include salbutamol, metaproterenol, terbutaline, cromolyn, nedocromil and theophylline. However, it is very important for all patients with exercise-induced asthma that were made ​​at rest breathing tests to rule out the possibility that chronic asthma.

Other Helpful Hints

Warm-up exercises before competitions are very important, because they can induce tolerance to bronchospasm in these types of people. However, avoid or reduce the exercise when they have viral infections, when pollen levels and air pollution are high or when temperatures are very low.

One technique that often helps to reduce clogging of the airways is pursing ( squint) lips breathing during heating and during the exercise itself. For years, we have considered the asthma patient as unable to participate in athletic programs and / or recreational sports, which has been an obstacle for children and adults with asthma. Today, with proper detection and treatment, those affected with asthma and exercise-induced bronchospasm can do virtually any type of exercise, which usually results in better physical and emotional health.


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