Sports & Exercise with Asthma

When exercising with asthma remember the following essential information:

  • Be in control* - take your asthma medications, especially preventer medications correctly and regularly
  • Have regular reviews with your doctor/nurse and have a personal written Asthma Action Plan
  • Make sure your coach/instructor/teacher knows that you have asthma
  • Always have your reliever (blue) inhaler easily accessible with your when exercising
  • If exercise triggers your asthma take your reliever inhaler immediately before you warm up
  • Always warm up (15-20 mins) before exercise and warm down after exercise
  • Identify your asthma "triggers" and try to avoid them
  • Increase your fitness levels gradually
  • If you have asthma symptoms when you exercise STOP, take your reliever inhaler and wait 5 minutes until breathing easily and symptom free before starting again
  • Carry your reliever inhaler and an Asthma Attack Card with you AT ALL TIMES

*If your day-to-day asthma is well controlled you should not need to use your reliever inhaler more than twice a week

Common Asthma Triggers in Exercise

  • Cold air
  • Long distance running
  • Fitness test
  • Chlorine in swimming pools
  • Pollen (including grass cuttings)

Asthma Symptoms

  • Coughing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Wheezing

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