Walking and Asthma

Improving overall fitness can be very helpful for people with asthma by increasing lung capacity and helping relaxation.

Walking is an excellent way to do this by starting off with easy walks and building up slowly, for example by following the TAKE 30 12 week walk plan.

You should take the following special precautions:

  • Use your reliever-inhaler at least 30 minutes before you set out, and make sure you take it with you.
  • Always warm up with ten minutes of gentle exercise to build up your breathing rate slowly.
  • Breathe through your nose, not just your mouth: the nose-hairs help warm up the air.
  • Try to avoid pollution by choosing routes away from busy roads, especially during rush hours. Try to avoid urban walks on days when pollution levels are high (check weather reports): if you live in a city, look for large open spaces or wide expanses of water. If pollution is a particular problem, for example during the pollen season if you also suffer from hay fever, try indoor exercise such as “mall walking”.
  • Take it easy on cold, dry days. Try breathing through a fleece or silk scarf when the air is cold.

For more information on asthma and physical activity see the Asthma UK website

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12 WEEK WALK PLAN

The aim of the plan is to get you walking briskly for at least half an hour on at least five days of the week.