Friday, April 10, 2009

Reduce Ashthma Symptoms the Natural Way: Exercise

Asthma is now affecting 20 million Americans. I've had asthma my entire life. When I was a kid I had severe symptoms including major attacks. I remember in many doctor's visits being told that the steroids found in inhalers, the traditional asthma controlling treatment, increase your chances of osteoporosis. My doctors have always told me to combat this tendency that I should exercise regularly to oxygenate my blood. I have always remembered this and maintained a consistent exercise schedule.

Today, I prevent attacks with maintenace non-steroid medication and I rarely have to take my emergency inhaler. I have increased my aerobic endurance with high intensity exercise. About 3 days per week, I do aerobic training with indoor cycling or jogging on the treadmill and my other 2 workout days I reserve for strength training. In the last 18 months, I have increased my aerobic endurance and reduced my asthma symptoms significantly. I could never run before without wheezing or tightness in my chest, but now I have stamina. I religiously use my heart monitor to manage my zones, which experts say is the only way to really know where you are while you're exercising.

This week, Dr. Mercola, health researcher and physician, sent out a video and article about the natural ways to reduce asthma symptoms. He suggests that asthma patients can increases their Omega-3's and vitamin D, while reducing Omega-6's (plant-based oils). He emphasizes that asthmatics who exercise actually increase their maximum ventilation, which is lower due to the condition, and increase their maximum heart rate. Exercise is the natural way to optimize your metabolic health, where insulin management is a key element.

Clearly, this is another reason to exercise, especially for asthmatics!

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