Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Wellness Wednesday

Hello and welcome to the inaugural edition of Wellness Wednesday in which I will be addressing health, fitness and wellness issues. I used to have a blog that I devoted solely to this topic, but my attention span is short and I need to vary my writing topics!

Today's topic: Exercising with asthma. This issue was raised by LillyShayStyle, whose husband has asthma but wants to get in shape this summer.

The most important thing to remember about this topic is this: See your doctor! Get your asthma under control! I cannot stress this enough. Asthma is a serious health condition and while it can be controlled, monitored and lived with, it is not to be taken lightly. If you're on a daily controller medication, make sure you're taking it appropriately. If you have an inhaler, be sure you have it with you when you're exercising. So see your doctor and discuss exercising with her/him. You should actually consult a physician before you begin an exercise program no matter who you are, just to be sure you're healthy enough for the activity. OK, I'll get off my soap box now.

Warm up: A warm-up before you begin your more intense work out is essential for anyone, but especially those with breathing issues, including asthma. This means starting off slowly to allow your body to acclimate to the activity. Walk before you run or jog, cycle at a slow tempo before revving up those hills. Five to ten minutes of warm-up will let your heart and lungs adjust to the larger demands being made on them.

Environment: Pollution and air quality affect everyone when they exercise because their lungs are pulling in a larger volume of them as your breathing becomes more rapid. People with asthma should avoid exercising when there is heavy pollution. To avoid pollution, you can exercise indoors, away from roads and in the early morning. For those with asthma, exercising in the cold is also problematic and should be avoided.

Activities: Swimming can be a very beneficial exercise for those with asthma. Swimming is great exercise and perfect for summer. If you can't swim, check your local pools or Y for lessons. Not only can you get in shape, but it's a great skill to have.

Intensity: If you have asthma, you need to monitor your intensity. You may need to curtail your intensity, working at a more moderate level. You want to keep your intensity below the point of breathing difficulty. If your breathing becomes labored, slow down and let your breathing return to normal.

Cool down: When you've completed your workout, don't just stop cold. Make a five minute cool down during which you lower your intensity part of your routine.

Start slow: If you've just begun exercising, start off with 15-20 minutes of cardiovascular work. This goes for everyone, not just those with asthma.

Strength training is important for everyone, and especially for people who are trying to lose weight. Muscle torches fat even when you're sleeping, so the more you have, the more weight you'll lose. Start off with a full body work out that works all your muscle groups. It is very important to perform strength exercises with proper form and I highly recommend getting a routine from a Personal Trainer in your area. Many gyms offer one time consultations with a trainer for free or a very reasonable fee. This is invaluable as they will be able to assess your current fitness level and provide you with an appropriate work out for that level. They can also correct your form to prevent injury and maximize results.

Okay, that's it for this week! Next week: Fitting exercise into packed schedules and healthy snacks.

Have a great and well day!

The not-so-fine print:
All the information presented on Wanderlust Bling is for educational and resource purposes only. It is there to help you make informed decisions about fitness training. It is NOT a substitute for or an addition to any advice given to you by your physician.


  1. Very interesting post, thanks. I don't have asthma but, when I was exercising regularly, suffered from exercise-induced asthma often and it gave me a real appreciation for what those who deal with it on the daily must go through.

  2. Exercise-induced asthma, thats what my husband I couldn't remember that when I last posted.
    This was a great post, thank you!
    I didn't know that it was a bad idea to exercise in the morning if you had a breathing problem. We were considering doing this, but will make new plans.
    I can't wait to read your next post!

  3. Wonderful tips! I don't have asthma but this post was still helpful to me too!

  4. Hi everyone - glad these helped! LillyShay, I clarified above, but exercising in the morning is GOOD for asthma - I was giving those as ways to avoid pollution. The pollution levels tend to be lower then, so it's a great time to exercise. Plus it gets it out of the way!

  5. Thank you for clearing that up :) I misread.. Well, lol, we won't change our plans for exercising in the morning afterall.
    Thanks again for addressing this issue, there are so many people who suffer from breathing problems of all kinds, this is a wonderful help.