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Aerobic Exercise for Asthma?

If you've never had to work hard for a breath, you don't really know what it's like to have asthma. For the millions of asthma sufferers, life can be a daily struggle to function. Although the benefits of aerobic training are well-established, the potential impact on asthma patients is controversial because many patients tend to show less tolerance to exercise.

A study of 42 asthmatic children (8-16 years of age) evaluated the effectiveness of aerobic exercise in managing asthma.

Aerobic training consisted primarily of sessions on an exercycle, three times per week for two months (10-15 minutes of warmup/stretching, 30 minutes of cycling, and a 5-minute cooldown). Results showed that aerobic training was associated with a significant short-term reduction in the use of inhaled and oral steroids, which are commonly prescribed to asthma patients.

If you or someone you know suffers from asthma, ask your doctor about the pros and cons of aerobic exercise. A moderate aerobic training routine is a great way to stay fit, and it might be an appropriate way to fight asthma at the same time.


Neder JA, Nery LE, Silva AC, et al. Short-term effects of aerobic training in the clinical management of moderate to severe asthma in children. Thorax 1999: Vol. 54, pp202-206.

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