You are vigilant when working with your asthmatic weight loss clients during sessions. But how do you ensure their safety when they exercise solo? As an asthmatic and a personal trainer, I understand the challenge of exercising without triggering my asthma.
Keeping weight under control is extremely important to overall health, especially for asthmatics. According to the American Academy of Asthma, Allergy and Immunology, “The excess weight you carry compresses your lungs, limiting how much air you can breathe in and narrowing your airways.”
How do we overcome this challenge? Here are 10 tips to share with your asthmatic clients to help them ensure their exercise safety:
- Always carry a rescue inhaler with you if you have one.
- Keep your identification card with you at all times, and be sure it has your emergency contact info and “Asthmatic” noted on it.
- Sip water frequently during the workout. Water keeps the body and lungs lubricated and happy. Do not gulp or drink large quantities of water, as this can place pressure on your lungs.
- Make sure you have your cell phone charged and with you.
- Choose an environment with controlled temperature and good air circulation. Indoors with cool air is best.
- Wipe cardio equipment and seats with a towel before you use them, to remove residual allergens and dust.
- Warm up for at least 15 minutes to prepare your lungs for the workout.
- Bear in mind that intensity and resistance are better than speed for asthmatics. Walking for 10 miles instead of running that distance may take longer, but it is better for your lungs.
- Stop exercising if you begin wheezing or your chest feels tight.
- Always cool down at the end of the workout.
Check out the following resources for more information on exercise and asthma:
- James T. Li, MD, Mayo Clinic asthma and allergy specialist, www.mayoclinic.com/health/asthma-diet/AN01998
- Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, www.aafa.org/display.cfm?id=8&sub=17&cont=168
- The American Council on Exercise, www.acefitness.org/fitfacts/fitfacts_display.aspx?itemid=21
- American Academy of Asthma Allergy and Immunology, www.aaaai.org/patients/allergic_conditions/exercise_induced_bronchoconstriction.stm; www.aaaai.org/patients/publicedmat/tips/exerciseinducedasthma.stm
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