Physical activity of a person is an important aspect in maintaining the
health and proper functioning of the human body. Therefore, regular physical
exercises are part of preventive measures, a method of health promotion,
including in patients with asthma 1 . However, do not forget that
they can also become a factor in exacerbating bronchial asthma. What do
patients with bronchial asthma need to know so that sport is for good and not
Physical activity as an exacerbation factor
Physical activity is one of the factors that can provoke narrowing of
the airway lumen, which leads to bronchospasm. Typically, most patients with
exercise-induced asthma or exercise-induced asthma are due to poor disease
control 2 . At the same time, exercise-induced bronchospasm may be
the only manifestation of asthma. The treatment of such patients is aimed at
relieving the symptoms of asthma and preventing their occurrence.
To be or not to be sport in BA?
However, this does not mean that a person diagnosed with bronchial asthma should exclude any physical activity from his life. On the contrary, a properly selected sport or just a balanced set of physical exercises has a positive effect on the state of the respiratory and cardiovascular systems and helps to improve various physical parameters of the patient, including peak expiratory flow, and hence the overall clinical picture of the course of the disease. Thus, it is no secret that many world-class athletes and even Olympic champions have bronchial asthma 1 .
What kind of sport is preferable to do with BA
Depending on the risk of developing bronchospasm during physical
exertion, experts distinguish three groups of sports disciplines:
low risk: sports in which the duration of intense
activity is less than 5–8 minutes (for example, tennis, fencing, gymnastics,
boxing, weightlifting, athletics such as sprint (100, 200 and 400 m), middle
distances (800 and 1500 m), hurdling (100, 110, 400 m), jumping, throwing,
medium risk: team sports in which an intense load rarely lasts more than 5–8 minutes continuously (for example, football, rugby, basketball, volleyball, handball, field hockey, etc.);
high risk: all sports in which intense activity lasts more than 5–8 minutes and / or is carried out in “unfavorable” conditions (for example, in chlorinated pools): cycling, cross-country skiing, ice / ball hockey, speed skating, triathlon , modern pentathlon, swimming, water polo, athletics that require endurance, such as long-distance running (5000 and 10,000 m), 3000 m steeplechase, walking (20 and 50 km), marathon, etc. 3 .
Thus, a patient with bronchial asthma should choose the types of
physical activity that would allow you to regulate the duration and intensity
of the load, temperature and humidity, and therefore control your condition.
Doctors recommend classes in the pool – swimming, water aerobics, scuba diving.
Thanks to swimming, the muscles of the shoulder girdle and diaphragm are well
strengthened, the patient learns to hold his breath. You can play volleyball,
basketball, football, tennis. Exercises for statics are useful, as well as
breathing exercises, yoga, martial arts) 4 .
How to train properly with BA
The possibility of physical activity should, first of all, be discussed with your doctor, who will not only help you choose the optimal training regimen, but also, if necessary, adjust the treatment regimen, including basic therapy and drugs to relieve symptoms.
You can work out both in the fitness club and at home. When choosing a fitness club, you need to pay attention to the air conditioning system. Be sure to inform the coach or instructor about your diagnosis.
When exercising at home, it is necessary to ensure that the room is well ventilated, and the air is not too dry.
A contraindication for outdoor training is dry and windy weather, frost,
and the flowering period when there is a lot of pollen in the air – all these
factors can cause bronchospasm.
Do not neglect the warm-up at the beginning of the workout and the hitch at the end. A warm-up helps the body adapt to increased loads, a hitch, on the contrary, “returns” it to its normal state.
If you feel unwell during class, you must stop and immediately use the drug to relieve symptoms, which you should always have with you. If attacks during physical activity have happened before, then the drug should be used 15 minutes before the start of the workout.
Bronchial asthma does not interfere with sports, but it should be remembered that physical activity of inappropriate intensity in conditions that increase the risk of developing bronchospasm can only harm. In turn, balanced training in compliance with all precautions that exclude risk factors favorably affect the course of the disease and allow it to be successfully controlled.