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Don’t Let Your Asthma Freeze You Out of Winter Workouts

PTD1214_WorkoutAvoiding asthma attacks while exercising in winter is best accomplished by preventing cold, dry air from getting into your bronchial airways. One way to do this is to exercise indoors when it is cold. Swimming in an indoor heated pool, where the air is comfortably warm but not overly humid, is an option that works for many people who have asthma. However, if you do want to exercise outdoors in frigid weather, cover your mouth and nose with a scarf or other garment to ensure that the air you breathe is warmed before it enters your body.
Wherever it is performed, exercise helps you strengthen your breathing muscles, boost your immune system and maintain a healthy body weight. In the winter—as in other seasons—it is important to warm up before exerting yourself. Begin 10 to 30 minutes before working out in earnest by walking, stretching and other low-level activities. The light movement will help your body make chemicals that deter bronchospasms. Drink plenty of liquids during this time as well.
If you feel uncomfortable during your winter exercise warm-up or even earlier, postpone further exercise. A slight wheeze can quickly escalate to a full-fledged attack when the inhalation of very cold air is combined with exertion.
Take your prescribed medications wisely and properly. Using your inhaler about 20 minutes before exercising (or according to your physician’s instructions) will help ensure an attack-free workout. However, keep your rescue inhaler on hand—preferably in a warm place—during your workout, just in case you need to use it.
Cool down for at least 10 minutes after you have exercised vigorously, and drink more liquids afterward, as well. Both activities help your body readjust slowly and gradually to its “normal” state and keep airways from suddenly drying out.
As the temperatures plummet, there is no need to forego exercise, even if you have asthma. We will design an all-season fitness program that meets your goals for strength, flexibility and cardiovascular health while taking into account your asthma and its triggers.
Apex Orthopedic Rehabilitation in Paramus, NJ provides orthopedic and sports physical therapy services for the greater Ridgewood, Paramus, and Bergen County region. This blog is intended for informational purposes only and should not be used for diagnostic or prescriptive purposes. The views expressed here are the author’s views and should be taken as suggestions. Always consult your doctor or healthcare practitioner before engaging in a physical therapy or rehabilitative program.

Tom Willemann

Tom Willemann

Tom Willemann is a premier physical therapist based out of Bergen County, New Jersey. He holds an MS in physical therapy from the University of Miami, is credentialed in the world-renowned McKenzie Method of Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy (MDT), and holds an OCS (Orthopedic Clinical Specialist) certification. As of 2018, there are approximately 14,000 ABPTS certified specialists in the nation and less than 400 of them are located in the state of New Jersey. Tom is the owner and director of Apex Orthopedic Rehabilitation in Paramus. He opened the clinic, which specializes in spine and sports injury prevention, in 2004 after many years of experience in the field. Tom’s caring interest in others and his strong belief in continuity of care, combined with his clinic’s ability to find solutions for the most difficult orthopedic problems, have earned Apex Orthopedic Rehabilitation its excellent reputation with patients and medical professionals in northeastern New Jersey and beyond. A true “family man,” Tom takes pride in his clinic’s warm and welcoming environment.
Tom Willemann

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