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Exercise Helps Asthma Sufferers

Do you struggle with asthma, or know someone who does? Thirty minutes of exercise daily may help to relieve the symptoms, according to a new study.

Researchers from the department of exercise science at Concordia University in Montreal facilitated phone interviews with 643 asthma patients. Participants discussed their quality of life, assessed their ability to control symptoms and estimated their leisure-time physical activity over the previous year. The researchers asked specifically about activity levels during various seasons.

Results showed that those who regularly engaged in physical activity exhibited better control over asthma symptoms, explained the authors.

“In addition, those participants who engaged in the most amount of exercise (about 30 minutes of moderate exercise per day, most days of the week) were almost 2.5 times more likely to [have better levels of asthma control] compared with those who did not engage in any exercise.”

While several previous studies have yielded similar findings, this intervention uncovered interesting results with regard to seasonal physical activity. It turned out that exercising during the winter months was a significant predictor of asthma symptom control. However, the authors do not yet fully understand why exercising in the winter would be linked with better symptom control than, say, summer exercise.

“It is possible that asthmatics who continued to exercise during the winter may have accumulated more activity over the year, and that continuous and cumulative exercise may be a key element in the positive role of physical activity on asthma,” the authors suggested.

The study was published in BMJ Open Respiratory Research (2015. doi:10.1136/bmjresp-2015-000083).

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