Active asthmatics, particularly those who are competitive sportspeople, report that they feel more in control of their asthma when they’re fit. Certainly, acute attacks are uncommon in highly trained asthmatic athletes.
However, the scientific evidence is less specific. A recent review of all the latest studies of the effects of physical exercise on asthma showed the following:
- Physical training resulted in an increase in cardiac and respiratory fitness in asthmatics as measured by an increase in their VO2Max – the internationally accepted measure of cardiorespiratory fitness
- Work capacity (the ability to sustain exercise) was also increased significantly
- Resting lung function as measured by peak flow was not affected
No information about the quality of life was available in these studies. But, if fit people generally feel better than their unfit peers, then it’s likely that fit asthmatics will feel better than those who are unfit.
So, while exercise may not actually help to control asthma, it will certainly help you live a full and healthy life. Anecdotally, many fit asthmatics do feel that they are better controlled as long as they keep up a certain level of exercise.