For people living with asthma, outdoor activity can be risky. Especially in colder weather, getting active outside could trigger an asthma attack, causing uncomfortable and potentially dangerous symptoms like wheezing and shortness of breath.
So, do you have to stay indoors all winter if you have asthma? No. With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to make going to the gym risky, especially for people with respiratory conditions like asthma, it’s a good idea to have a plan to safely exercise out of doors in spite of your asthma.
The experienced primary care team at Living Water Community Health and Wellness Clinic of Porterville, Lindsay, and Visalia, California, supports new and existing patients with asthma. Here are seven smart tips to help you plan to exercise outdoors when you have asthma.
When it comes to asthma symptoms, temperature matters. You might be able to regularly manage outdoor activity in good weather, but extremes of heat and cold can make things more difficult for asthmatic lungs. Check the forecast so you know how to prepare. If you have allergy-related asthma, the pollen count is also important to know.
The change in air temperature is part of what makes outdoor activity risky for asthma patients. Even if you have winter asthma, shifting into colder outside air gradually, staying bundled up at first, can help ease your lungs into coping with the winter outdoor air.
When you go out, your rescue inhaler should always go with you. If you start to experience asthma symptoms, having your inhaler close at hand could save you precious time and allow you to forestall a full attack. You may see your symptoms improve in just 10-15 minutes.
Thinking ahead means you can better manage a potentially dangerous condition like asthma. The team at Living Water Clinic can help you develop a customized activity plan so you get the health benefits of outdoor exercise without risking asthma attacks. A plan of action for when you experience symptoms can also help put you in control.
Our family medicine team may advise some patients to use a rescue inhaler as part of your prep for getting ready to go. You may benefit from using your rescue inhaler 15 minutes before you plan on getting active.
Wearing a mask is an important part of COVID-19 mitigation. Covering your nose and mouth with fabric layers can also help to ease your breathing while exercising in cooler outdoor temperatures.
At Living Water Clinic, our primary care doctors work with patients of all ages to put together long-term treatment plans for living — and thriving — after an asthma diagnosis. We can help you calibrate your plan to take into account your exercise and other health care needs.
Keep taking your long-term asthma control medications, even after your attacks don’t recur as frequently, and don’t make any big changes in your approach to activity or the great outdoors without talking to your provider.
For ongoing support for asthma, including diagnosis and treatment planning, get in touch with the family medicine team at Living Water Community Health and Wellness Clinic today. You can schedule an appointment over the phone, or book one online.