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The 15 Best (and 10 Worst) Exercises for Asthma

Swimming (Best)

Swimming seems to be one of the best workouts for people with Asthma. It’s a great port that works the whole body while requiring a little bit of lung strength. It’s a particularly good exercise for asthmatics because of the warm, moist air they’re breathing.

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Yoga (Best)

Yoga deserves more credit than it’s given. It’s an intense, strengthening, peaceful regimen. Any of the mind and body regimens, such as T’a chi and Pilates are great.

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Walking (Best)

While walking, you have a lot of control over the speed and intensity. It’s an under-rated activity that is actually very good for you. In fact, studies have shown that it is the best way to lose weight. It’s low impact and can help you prevent a whole host of health problems, from diabetes to strokes.

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Biking (Best)

Leisurely biking is great for Asthmatics. Biking around town on relatively flat roads will help your legs and lungs. It’s a great way to get out and see the town. Heck you could even ride to work! If you don’t have a bike (or the weather is subpar), hit up a local gym. Stationary bikes will work just fine.

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Hiking (Best)

Hiking is a great way to get out without putting too much stress on your body. It’ll work plenty of muscle groups while at the same time giving you plenty of places to stop, take a breather, and enjoy the scenery.

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Golf (Best)

Golfing is a great way to get competitive without having to worry too much about your asthma. It’ll tone up your core while letting you spend some quality time with loved ones.

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Gymnastics (Best)

Gymnasts are some of the fittest people on the planet. Luckily, gymnastics are definitely in the clear for anyone suffering from Asthma. You’ll be able to get fit while doing amazing things. 

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Baseball (Best)

Baseball is perfect for asthmatics due to its start and stop nature. It’s a great place to be competitive with friends, and it has sitting built into the game, ideal for any time you feel like you may need a breather.

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Tennis (Best)

Tennis is a great way to be competitive, work on your hand-eye coordination, and get in shape. There’s a bit of movement required, but there’s also plenty of time to stop and breathe in between sets.

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Volleyball (Best)

Volleyball is about as fun a summer sport as there is. It’s such a great place to goof around with friends that you’ll barely even notice the workout that you’re getting. Even better: there’s hardly any running!

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Football (Best)

Football is the American sport. (Well, we are pretty much the only country that plays it.) It’s great for getting out, having a good time, and not having to stress too much about your asthma.

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Martial Arts (Best)

Martial arts are one of the oldest disciplines you can practice. They’ll get both your mind and body in shape while providing your great lessons in self-defense. You’ll be more focused, more disciplined, and more confident than ever before!

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Weight Training (Best)

Weight training is a classic. Just go to the gym and pump some iron. You’ll work hard for about a minute before stopping for several. There’s plenty of room for your asthma to be kept under control. To make the deal even better, going to the gym is one of the best ways to build strength!

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Dancing (Best)

Everybody needs to learn how to dance. It’s super fun, very romantic, and a natural way to get in shape. Most cities have plenty of options for learning how to dance, with a variety of different types and difficulty levels. And don’t be nervous! You’ll build confidence, but when you get started, everybody else in your beginner class will be just as clumsy as you.

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Kayaking (Best)

If you can get out on the water, do it. Kayaking is a peaceful way to enjoy beautiful scenery. Being surrounded by the water will help your breathing, and your arms and core are sure to get a workout. But be careful: it’s easy to over-extend yourself without realizing it.

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Skiing (Worst)

It's hard to resist the allure of skiing in the mountains, but you might have to. Cold weather is not the best for asthma. It’s known to trigger asthma symptoms and coupling it with an aerobic activity like skiing is not the best idea.

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Ice Hockey (Worst)

While most stop and go sports are okay for people with asthma, Ice Hockey is different. You can’t really stop skating while you’re playing, and the cold weather isn’t doing your asthma any favors.

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Endurance Running (Worst)

Long distance running is not typically recommended for people with asthma. Heavy breathing for extended periods of time only heightens the risk of a flare-up. That said, if practiced wisely, you can be a runner. Pay attention to your body, bring your inhaler, and don’t go alone.

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Soccer (Worst)

Soccer is difficult for people with asthma. While it’s super fun and very competitive. There’s no down-time. In fact, not only are you running the whole time, but you’re sprinting a lot of that. Playing soccer would be like going on a six-mile run where you sprint instead of taking a walk-break.

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Basketball (Worst)

Basketball is full of running. It’s easy to get caught up in the game, but this sport is just not worth it. Try a different competitive team sport like volleyball or football instead.

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Circuit Training (Worst)

Sustaining an elevated heart rate and heaving breathing for a long period of time is not a good idea for anyone with asthma, and that’s all circuit training is. If you want to hit the weights, go for traditional weight-lifting instead.

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CrossFit (Worst)

Yeah, CrossFitters may be super fit, but it’s not the best exercise regimen for people with asthma. On the bright side, you don’t have to join this sport’s weirdly cultish following.

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Interval Training (Worst)

That’s right, you don’t have to run stairs. High intensity with short rest is not the best for asthmatics. If you want to do something similar to interval training, make sure you give yourself a longer rest-period.

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Intense Cycling (Worst)

While casual cycling might be good for you, going out and maintaining heavy breathing for long periods while being miles and miles from home is not. Keep the bike rides a little more laid back, and get the intensity you crave from other exercises, like weightlifting.

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Some Outdoor Activities (Worst)

While outdoor activities are fine during certain times of the year, there are long stretches when they aren’t. Cold weather and allergy season are both likely to irritate your asthma. Even hot, dry weather will. During this time of the year, head to the gym instead.

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