Just 30 minutes of non-strenuous exercise such as walking or doing yoga can result in significant reduction of asthma symptoms, says a new study.
The researchers analysed the exercise habits of 643 participants who had been diagnosed with asthma.
Those who engaged in optimal levels of physical activity on a regular basis were nearly two-and-a-half times more likely to have good control of their symptoms, compared with those who did no exercise, the findings showed.
What is more, the researchers found that the workout does not have to be strenuous.
“We are not talking about running marathons here,” said the study’s lead author Simon Bacon, professor at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada.
Traditionally, people with the condition have been discouraged from exercising because of a belief that it triggers shortness of breath and attacks.
Bacon explained that simple precautionary measures can be taken to avoid the discomforts that can be caused by physical activity.
“The issue of exercise-induced bronchospasm is real — but if you use your reliever medication, blue puffer, before you exercise, and then take the time to cool down afterwards, you should be okay,” he said.
“Even if you have asthma, there is no good reason not to get out there and exercise,” Bacon pointed out.
“Our study shows that those who were able to engage in physical activity on a regular basis year-round benefit most,” Bacon said.
The findings were reported in the journal BMJ Open Respiratory Research.