Researchers have found that doing aerobic exercise can help to manage asthma symptoms and improve the quality of life of those with the condition.
The findings are particularly interesting, since people with asthma often avoid exercise as they are worried about triggering their symptoms.
The study, published in the journal, Thorax, involved 58 people with moderate to severe asthma aged between 20 and 59. Participants were randomly separated into two groups.
The first group was asked to perform a 30-minute yoga breathing exercise twice a week for 12 weeks, while the second group was asked to do this breathing exercise alongside a 35-minute indoor treadmill session twice a week for 12 weeks.
At the beginning and the end of the study, the participants were physically assessed. They also recorded their symptoms, inhaler use and any unscheduled visits to hospital or their doctor in a diary, and filled in a questionnaire about their quality of life.
The researchers found that the group of participants that completed treadmill sessions as well as breathing exercises had more symptom-free days, better quality of life, were able to take in more oxygen and had greater aerobic power. This was most noticeable among people with more severe symptoms at the start of the study.
The researchers recommend that healthcare professionals prescribe an exercise programme alongside drug treatment for people with moderate to severe asthma.
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