Don’t let asthma beat you – beat it

To some, the thought of having existing issues regulating breathing patterns – and then combining that with intense work outs, may seem daunting.

The great news is, it’s completely possible to do both! In the feature Exercise with wheeze, I spoke with Registered Nurse and Asthma and Respiratory Educator at National Asthma Council Australia, Marg Gordon on the really wheezy ways (I will not stop with that pun) of managing asthma and staying active.

“It’s important for everyone with asthma to know their triggers and to manage those triggers,” explains Ms Gordon.

Her top tips include:

  • “Get as fit as possible, this increases your tolerance to exercise.
  • Avoid cold, dry air if possible, and avoid exercising when there are high levels of pollen, dust, fumes or pollution if these are triggers for you.
  • Breathe through your nose when you exercise.
  • Do a proper warm up and cool down.”

Still not sold on the idea of exercising with asthma?

At 23 years of age, Gaje McCahon describes the feeling of an asthma attack as, “… someone quite heavy sitting on my chest”.

Adding to Ms Gordon’s argument, Mr McCahon says, “I believe having some level of fitness truly helps as well.”

Despite living with asthma, and experiencing multiple severe attacks, Mr McCahon has not slowed down when it comes to staying active.

“I have played all kinds of sports growing up…

“I also regularly participate at a local crossfit box. I train there six times a week every morning and about four times in the afternoon (prior to COVID-19).

“My ability to train so hard and so often has become possible thanks to a pharmacist who genuinely cared about my asthma and took the time to listen.”

Ms Gordon emphasises that “Exercise is great for health and wellbeing and can improve quality of life,” so it’s important that everyone, including those with asthma, take advantage of the abilities they have and make the most out of life.

To read the full story with Marg Gordon and Gaje McCahon, click here.