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Regular Exercise and Asthma Symptoms

 Years ago people with asthma were told to limit their exercise, for fear it would set off an asthma attack. Now research suggests that the best thing you can do for asthma (to control symptoms) is to get regular exercise year round - here 30 minutes per day, whether walking, biking, or other moderate activities. From Science Daily:

Just 30 minutes a day: Regular exercise relieves asthma symptoms

Millions of people suffer from asthma. Many report having poor control of their symptoms. Fortunately, new research shows there is a simple antidote: 30 minutes of exercise a day, year-round.

In a study recently published in BMJ Open Respiratory Research, experts from Concordia University, the Hôpital du Sacré-Coeur de Montréal and several other institutions analyzed the exercise habits of 643 participants who had been diagnosed with asthma. Results were overwhelmingly clear: those who engaged in optimal levels of physical activity on a regular basis were nearly two-and-a-half times more likely to have good control of their symptoms, compared with those who did no exercise. The workout doesn't have to be strenuous...."Just 30 minutes a day of walking, riding a bike, doing yoga -- anything active, really -- can result in significant reduction of asthma symptoms."

Traditionally, people with the condition have been discouraged from exercising because of a belief that it triggers shortness of breath and attacks. Bacon explains that simple precautionary measures can be taken to avoid the discomforts that can be caused by physical activity. "The issue of exercise-induced bronchospasm is real -- but if you use your releaver medication, blue puffer, before you exercise, and then take the time to cool down afterwards, you should be okay," he says. "Even if you have asthma, there's no good reason not to get out there and exercise."

That's a message Bacon hopes resonates. Within his sample group of 643 individuals, a whopping 245 reported doing no physical activity. Only 100 said they engaged in the optimal 30 minutes a day...."We need to keep in mind that doing something is better than nothing, and doing more is better than less. Even the smallest amount of activity is beneficial."...."Our study shows that those who were able to engage in physical activity on a regular basis year-round benefit most," says Bacon. If necessary, he suggests finding an indoor place to move, whether it's the gym, a staircase or a shopping mall.

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