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The question really should be What sports are best for MY asthma?, or What sports are best for the current state of my respiratory health?
Depending on your breath control physical activity can be highly beneficial, have no beneficial effect or it can be harmful. So if you ask Is swimming, running etc good for me , the answer is it could be good for you if you know when and how to perform physical activity to get maximum health benefits and not to exacerbate your health condition.
Aerobic type exercise is a good way to quickly build up Carbon Dioxide thus it is very beneficial from the Buteyko point of view. However, if you are a moderate to severe asthmatic with below 20 sec CP, it might be difficult for you to keep up nasal breathing during such exercises (a strict rule of Buteyko). And breathing through your mouth will likely bring on your asthma symptoms and won’t be helpful for your overall health improvement goals.
If you are using a bronchodilator every time before aerobic exercise or regularly have symptoms, you are not ready to participate in such intense exercise. Moderate to severe asthmatics don’t generally have enough Carbon Dioxide to get past the beginning of aerobic exercises stage where the breathing deepens significantly but their CO2 level is so low that any further “leak” will bring on the body’s defense mechanism – airway spasm. Hence exercise induced asthma that usually strikes shortly after the beginning of the routine.
The solution is to improve your breathing with the Buteyko Method to the point where you are able to sustain such physical activity without asthma symptoms and need for bronchodilators. While your CP is moving up your physical activities should be adjusted according to your respiratory health. A Buteyko Practitioner will help you with detailed recommendations for your particular level.
Generally speaking if your (or your child’s) CP is less than 35 sec avoid following activities
- Robust or prolonged intensive effort sports like soccer, high-skill gymnastics, track and field, and basketball
- Cold environment sports such as ice skating, ice hockey, snow skiing
- Professional sports involvement with exhausting routines, extended training hours etc
- Sports that involves allergens you are sensitive to (for some it could be swimming in the pools, horseback riding, golf)
Consider gentler activities such as
- martial arts
- horseback riding
Buteyko Clinic USA offers unique breathing rehabilitation programs that result in long term drug free control over asthma, allergies, COPD, rhinitis, chronic cough, snoring, sleep apnea, anxiety, panic, chronic hyperventilation syndrome and other chronic conditions. Contact us today for a free consultation.