With spring in full swing, the world is buzzing with activity once again.
Flowers are blooming… birds are chirping… and folks are getting active outdoors.
But when you’ve got asthma, it feels like you can’t fully join in on the season’s hustle and bustle.
You don’t want to step out into the pollen-filled air — let alone EXERCISE in it — for fear of triggering an attack!
But according to a new study, you don’t have to hide out inside all season — because getting regular exercise can actually REDUCE your chances of having an asthma attack.
And that’s especially true if you could stand to lose a few pounds.
In the study, Brazilian researchers randomly split a group of obese folks with asthma into two groups: Half followed a weight-loss program that included twice weekly exercise sessions, while the other half followed a weight-loss program without exercise.
After three months, it turned out that those in the exercise group had 15 asthma-symptom-free days per month while the control group only had nine asthma-symptom-free days.
That means that the exercisers slashed the frequency of their asthma attacks by 40 percent!
Not too shabby — especially considering that exercise was seen as harmful for those with asthma for years.
The theory is that physical activity cuts asthma attacks off at the pass by reducing inflammation in your airways. And that’s important — because inflammation is the very thing that causes your air passages to narrow, saddling you with miserable coughing and wheezing.
Of course, exercise can ease inflammation whether you’re on the heavy side OR maintaining a healthy weight.
But we also know that obesity itself is a risk factor for asthma, and exercise can certainly help you shed more pounds than dieting alone.
As a bonus, staying active can help stave off diabetes… keep your heart healthy… and even protect your brain from dementia.
So, don’t let asthma rain on your parade this spring — or any other season.
Get those lungs pumping with exercise to breathe easier!
A good rule of thumb is to aim for two hours of moderate-intensity activity weekly. That means just a half hour of exercise, four days a week, is all it takes.
In the study, the participants who exercised combined weightlifting with aerobic activity, but pretty much anything that challenges your heart and lungs — from brisk walking to hiking to ballroom dancing — will do the trick.
And if the pollen-filled air makes it tough for you to exercise outside, hit the gym or try an indoor yoga class.