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Exercising and going outdoors with asthma and allergies


Resolve to Relieve your Worst Symptoms in 2016

New Year’s Resolutions once again have many of us dragging to the gym, downloading apps that promise to get us into shape or on top of our schedules, but the best plans can get derailed when your allergies or asthma gets in the way. Resolve to keep your worst symptoms in check this year, and your other goals will feel much more attainable.

First of all, take a good, honest look at how you’re managing your allergies and asthma. Are you taking your symptoms seriously, and avoiding known triggers? Or are you just assuming your inhaler or medication will take care of the worst of it? It can be easy to write off symptoms you’ve grown accustomed to, like itchy, watery eyes or a stuffy nose as “just allergies” but it’s time to make a change. Be sure to take your medication daily, if prescribed, and don’t skip doses. Have your medication, inhaler, or EpiPen on you at all times in case you are triggered.

doctor with inhailer

Getting enough sleep and eating healthily are keys to a happy, healthy body (which can better handle unexpected allergy triggers or asthma attacks) but also keys to tackling a common resolution: making changes to improve your health. Most Americans resolve to exercise or live a healthier lifestyle1, and having a condition like allergies or asthma does force you to think about these resolutions a little differently, but it does not make them impossible.

If you want to exercise more, but asthma is making that hard, there are some things you can do to resolve that. When we’re breathing normally, about a gallon of air enters our lungs a minute. The air is moving slowly, and has time to warm up before getting to your lungs. When exercising, especially on cold days, you bring in a lot more air, and your body doesn’t have time to warm that air up. The sudden increase at a cold temperature causes your the airways to constrict. If you’ve noticed that your asthma is worse or triggered by cold weather, this is why. Take the time to warm up your body (and the air entering it!), and slowly increase the amount of air you’re taking in. Start with a walk, build up to a jog, and when comfortable, resume your normal workout.

Swimming has long been touted as the best exercise for asthma sufferers, and for good reason. The air around the pool is usually warm and moist, perfect for breathing. Swimming is also a fantastic low-impact exercise that trains and tones your entire body. We’ll check excuses off the list and call that a win-win on your journey to a new, healthier, you.

One other common resolution is to eat healthier, but when looking at “clean eating” recipes on the internet, there can be a big emphasis on tree nuts, eggs, whey, and other foods containing common allergens. Luckily, there are a lot of great blogs dedicated to living an allergen-free life, and many recipes can be adapted to fit your needs.

Cooking is a huge way to speed up any plans to adopt healthier eating habits, and cooking your own food also means you’ll know exactly what is in it. No more grilling the chef on every last ingredient, you’ll be able to eat confidently knowing that the foods you are preparing are safe.

What’s your resolution for 2016? As always, the BreatheAmerica team is here to help and support the development of a happy and healthy lifestyle, especially when it comes to feeling your best. Make an appointment with us today, and gain control of your worst symptoms for a happy and healthy new year.