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Asthma and exercise


I have not had my peak flow reading done in 2-3 years so I am quite sure what it is now but last time, it was 200-250.

I feel like my asthma has got worse since then as I become very out of breath and wheezy through a brisk walk, at home and today when I attempted to do a firm resistance dvd, I had to stop about ten times as I was sweating so much and so out of breath and wheezy and I am also out of shape.

I will be making an appointment with the practice nurse tomorrow for an asthma check up but in the meantime, does anyone have any advice on how I can exercise and possibly start losing some weight in a safe way as I am overweight.

4 Replies

I have had the same problems and the best exercise hands-down for me is swimming. I think the warm, humid air helps to relax your lungs (cold, dry air i.e. anything outdoors is the worst for me) and you can also do whatever suits your health that day, i.e. some days I will properly swim lengths, but other days I might just walk through the water or float gently on my back - whatever gets my heart rate up but doesn't risk an attack. If at risk of an attack I would also ask the lifeguard if you can put your inhaler somewhere safe and then both you and he/she know where it is if needed.

Definitely tell the nurse too as it sounds like a medication change will be needed - doubling the dose of my preventer (with nurse's consent of course) vastly improved my ability to exercise. Good luck!

1 like

Thank you so much Sdan4, that has helped me so much. I think the first most important thing is to book an appointment with the practice nurse for a review :)


Why do you not have your own peak flow meter? You can ask to have one on prescription or you can buy one for around the price of a prescription from your pharmacy. It is a great tool to watch your asthma and know when you are "going down" with an infection or something. I use mine every day when I start feeling poorly. Before I take my inhalers and then again afterwards - as your peak flow should get better after taking your inhalers. Otherwise I just use it maybe once every few days to check.

As for losing weight, eat sensibly and start cutting down on what you eat. You don't necessarily have to miss all the things you love just don't eat so much and not so often - like making a small amount of something you really like a treat on a Sunday afternoon or something like that. If you are on steroids they can affect your weight too. As for exercise just start slow and work up a little every week - if you can't manage then go back down a step and try again. Moderation in all things is the way to go. Swimming is great fun and a really good exercise but I can't swim in an indoor pool because of the chlorine it makes me sob. The next best exercise is walking. Do what you can when you can. A little and often is better than going all out and bringing on an attack.

Good Luck,



1 like

Thank you Sian,

Your advice helped me a lot and I will get a peak flow meter on prescription and have a asthma review as well. :)


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