The People News, a free newspaper serving Cleveland Tennessee (TN) and Bradley County Tennessee (Tn).

Of Bradley County Tn.

APRIL  2006

                            The People News, a free newspaper serving Cleveland and Bradley County Tn.







Exercise-induced asthma

by B.J. Armstrong

"Tears of grief wash our soul,
Rain wets and cleans the earth.
The sun comes out behind a cloud;
Then a rainbow brightens us all."

April is here with all its fanfare. Plants and flowers need April showers to bloom in May. And people with asthma avoid exercise because they fear an exercise-induced asthma attack.

Asthma may make exercise extra challenging, but definitely not impossible. Some activities are easier on your lungs than others. Most experts believe exercise-induced asthma occurs when your lungs lose heat and water. Therefore, sports such as running, bicycling, basketball, and soccer will increase your chances for an attack. On the other hand, sports such as baseball and down-hill skiing are less likely to trigger asthma attacks. Water sports cause the least problems because the moist, warm air prevents the airways from cooling. Plus, walking and weight training rarely trigger asthma.

B J Armstrong

Asthma does not have to slow you down, the key to maintaining an exercise program is to choose an activity you enjoy. It's a good idea to experiment with different sports until you find one that you really enjoy doing. A consistent exercise program will actually improve your asthma. You'll be able to play your favorite sports and have fun without fear of an attack.

Exercise-induced asthma is extremely common, but it can be prevented and controlled. Use an inhaler five minutes to an hour before vigorous exercise. Always carry your inhaler in case you need it. Some people use their inhaler, do five to ten minutes of exercise, cool down, and then start playing the sport.

A person with asthma should watch what they eat. Avoid eating certain foods up to two hours before exercise. Shrimp, celery, peanuts, and bananas are some of the foods that can trigger an attack. Eating

these foods before exercise can actually cause breathlessness, a drop in blood pressure, and weakness. Watch out for sulfites in foods. Sulfites preserve food and sterilize bottles used for alcoholic

beverages. You'll find sulfite-treated foods in a salad bar. Foods high in sulfites are dried fruits, pickled foods, molasses, lemon and lime juices, wine and wine coolers, and maraschino cherries, to name a few.

Caffeine can help relieve some asthma attacks by

relaxing and expanding the air passages in your lungs. But, too much caffeine can increase your blood pressure and heart rate and cause insomnia.

A lot of the food we eat is processed. That means flavorings, preservatives, sweeteners, conditioners, and artificial colors that are added. Some people will have an asthma attack after eating food artificially colored with FD&C yellow No. 5. It's used in cake mixes, chewing gum, ice cream, cheese, and soft drinks. So, watch out and boycott processed foods, if at all possible.

Research shows cold water baths can improve breathing - but don't stay in too long. A quick bath in cold water for only one minute or a 30 second cold shower every day helps breathing and wheezing from asthma attacks.

Vacuum your place of living very often to help you breathe easier. Studies show there is a big difference in the amount of allergens in a place vacuumed weekly opposed to monthly.

Many people with asthma avoid exercise because they fear an exercise-induced asthma attack. But you don't have to miss out on good health and good times. In the 1984 and 1988 Olympics, 120 U.S. Athletes had asthma. But, even with the asthma problem, they won 57 Olympic medals. Since that time, there's been countless other winners also. Asthma does not have to slow you down. Don't give up. Just keep a positive attitude and believe in yourself. Asthma or not, too much exercise isn't healthy for anyone. Fatigue, anemia, and the deterioration of muscles are just a few of the adverse effects of too much exercise. Do whatever you do in moderation.

"It takes less time to do a thing right than it does to explain why you did it wrong."

When proud-pied April, dressed in all his trim
Has put a spirit of youth in everything.
-- William Shakespeare