If you have breathing problems, it might seem like it’s impossible to exercise without triggering a breathing issue. However, exercise is an important part of staying healthy, and you shouldn’t cut it out of your routine. By following these safety tips and precautions, you can maintain a healthy level of exercise.
1. Breathe Effectively
Try to start and maintain effective breathing throughout your exercise routine. Breathe in and out through your nose; if you must exhale through your mouth, try to do so through pursed lips rather than a completely open mouth. This keeps your breathing regular and can extend your exercise session.
2. Pick the Right Exercise
Part of exercising with a breathing problem involves choosing an appropriate type of exercise. Sports or activities that require extended cardiovascular activity are typically not recommended; this includes long-distance running and soccer. If you choose one of these activities, work on your endurance slowly and don’t overwork yourself. Swimming is the exception to this, since it’s an excellent option for those with breathing problems. The damp, warm environment can keep your airway from becoming irritated. Additionally, sports that require intermittent periods of intense effort are a good choice. With these types of exercise, monitor your breathing to ensure that you aren’t overexerting yourself.
3. Use Your Inhaler
Many breathing problems, including asthma, involve the use of an inhaler to keep breathing problems at bay. Your doctor may recommend using the inhaler prior to physical exertion or when you have difficulty breathing. Using your inhaler as recommended can help you exercise longer without triggering a breathing problem.
4. Warm Up and Cool Down Appropriately
Jumping right into exercise without warming up can cause pain for anyone, but it’s especially dangerous for people with breathing problems. Taking enough time to warm your body up helps it adjust to the level of exercise you’re doing; skipping warm up and cool down periods can exacerbate breathing problems and cut your exercise session short.
5. Do Not Exercise while Sick
If you have a cold or flu, taking the time to recover is a better idea than trying to exercise through it. These two illnesses, as well as many others, can interfere with your breathing. Add that to the fact that exercise can already be stressful on those with breathing problems, and you can end up with an ineffective exercise session that leaves you feeling worse than when you started.
6. Listen To Your Body
If you feel overworked at any point during exercise, stop and take a break. Any difficulty with breathing should be a sign to you that you need to slow down or stop and choose a different type of exercise.
Exercising is a great way to maintain your overall health and can even minimize your breathing problems when done on a regular basis. Be sure to move at your own pace, listen to your body, and only do what you can handle. In doing so, you prepare yourself for a fun, healthy exercise routine.