The Link Between Asthma and Cold-Weather Exercise
How much does outdoor exercise affect lung function during the winter and early spring? If you have asthma, it’s likely you experience the worsening of symptoms during cold-weather months. The air is cold and dry, which can irritate hypersensitive lungs, even without much physical exertion. However, you also have to factor in Utah’s wintertime inversion. Breathing in particulate pollution can be harmful for anyone, but it is especially problematic for people with chronic respiratory conditions, such as asthma. Additionally, respiratory and sinus infections are more common in the winter and spring. These infections can severely decrease lung function while increasing your risk of asthma attacks.
Although people with asthma can have unique triggers and experience a varying degree of symptoms, extra precautions should be taken if you decide to exercise outside during the colder months of the year. The following steps may help prevent asthma symptoms during exercise:
- Wear a knitted face mask or scarf around your nose and mouth
- Take time to warm up and cool down indoors
- Use your rescue inhaler 10 to 15 minutes before exercising in cold air
- If you bring your inhaler with you during exercise, keep it close to your body, as warm medication is more easily distributed into the lungs
It is important to talk to your doctor about your workout routine, especially if you notice a spike in your asthma symptoms during or after exercise. If you have questions please feel free to contact as us at www.wasatchallergy.com