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The Benefits of Physical Activity In Managing Your Child’s Asthma
As a parent it’s only natural to worry about your child’s Asthma especially when it comes to physical activity in sports. But there are numerous studies that highlight how playing sport and maintaining a strong level of fitness can actually help asthma sufferers reduce the frequency of asthma symptoms.
In fact, a recent study highlighted that 8% of all Olympic athletes from the last 5 Olympic Games have Asthma. Although unproven, studies have also shown that competitors with asthma continually outperform opponents who do not suffer from it.
So it’s clear that when asthma is managed correctly your child can not only participate in sport but excel at it too. But what specific benefits does sport have that can help improve your child’s Asthma?
Improve Lung Performance:
We all know that playing sports improves fitness, stamina and your lung capacity which is important for asthma suffers.
Aerobic exercise also increases the functionality of the muscles involved in breathing. When kids have a better base level of fitness, everyday tasks become less strenuous and therefore lessens the severity and frequency of asthma symptoms.
Boost Immune System:
Colds and the flu are among the most common causes of asthma flare-ups, especially in young children. Asthma attack symptoms can increase due to irritated and inflamed airways that become overly sensitive.
When kids exercise their bodies become better equipped to handle bacteria that could cause them to become unwell. While a boost from exercise typically only lasts a few hours, regular exercise will allow kids to stay healthier compared to those that don’t.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Research by doctors’ shows that patients that are overweight, and suffer from obesity, find it much harder to manage the symptoms of asthma when compared to those at a healthy weight.
In fact, several studies have shown that obese children and teenagers are two times as likely to be diagnosed with asthma when compared to kids with a healthy body weight.
Exercise and physical activity is obviously the key component to maintaining a healthy weight as well as a balanced diet which is lower in processed foods and sugar.
Reduce Stress and Depression
Stress is a very common trigger of asthma symptoms in both kids and adults. When you have stress, or longer term signs of depression, it can make us feel short of breath, anxious and even cause panic attacks.
While there is no evidence to suggest that anxiety or depression cause asthma, these triggers definitely worsen and trigger the symptoms and effects of asthma.
What are the Symptoms of Asthma to Be Aware of When Exercising?
While it’s clear that there are benefits in exercise for kids that suffer from asthma, it’s important that we keep all kids safe and supervised.
As a parent, you need to understand and know the symptoms of Asthma so that you can take action quickly when they occur. It’s important that teachers, coaches and other supervisors know these reactions too.
Some of the symptoms might include
- Coughing or wheezing
- Gasping for air or very short on breath
- Tightened feeling in the chest
- Trouble speaking in short sentences
- Tummy or chest hurting in younger kids.
Follow these tips and encourage your child to participate in exercise, sports and other activities that increase their fitness. By doing so they can enjoy an active life while improving their asthma conditioning and reducing the opportunities for symptoms to present.
School holiday sports camps are a great way to allow kids to exercise and participate in sports while playing in controlled environment with trained supervisors who can assist if asthma symptoms arise.