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Asthma symptoms are helped --not hurt -- by exercise

May 23rd, 2012
Staff writer / LifeApps Media

Exercise doesn't typically hurt asthma symptoms,|| a study finds.Asthma isn’t a condition that seems conducive to exercise. In fact, many people with asthma feel they can’t work out because it will trigger breathing problems. That’s a myth, according to new research. A review of scientific evidence shows that people with asthma who exercised were no more likely to experience asthma problems than people who didn’t exercise.

The analysis, published in the Cochrane Review, looked at studies that compared people with asthma who received little or no physical activity to people with asthma who exercised at least 20 minutes, twice a week for at least four weeks. They found that people who exercised, such as swimming or running or cycling, were no more likely to have a serious asthma-related problem than those who didn’t exercise or did only light exercise.

Moreover, the people who exercised improved their cardiovascular fitness which could actually reduce asthma symptoms over time, said the lead author of the review, Kristin V. Carson. Exercise also improves quality of life and psychological well-being, she said.

“We found no reason for people with stable asthma to refrain from regular exercise,” Carson said. “Physicians should encourage their patients with stable asthma to engage in physical training programs.”

The issue is important because asthma patients who are afraid to exercise will become sedentary, which leads to being out of shape and losing muscle mass and cardiovascular fitness. Those people become fatigued and breathless more easily, she said.