The Effects of Exercise on Asthma and Quality of Life
Dinsmore, Matthew P.
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Asthma remains an increasingly serious health condition affecting 24.6 million people (8.2% of the US population) causing decreased quality of life and even death. Asthmatics are more likely to lead sedentary lifestyles related to fear of exercise-induced bronchospasms, physical barriers, such as resting airflow obstruction, and parental beliefs about exercise harming their children. A literature review was conducted to assess the effects of exercise on asthmatic quality of life as measured by respiratory function, asthmatic symptoms, and emotional wellbeing. Research strongly suggests that varying types of aerobic exercise (swimming, running, basketball, cycling, etc.) can improve respiratory function, decrease asthma symptoms, decrease medication use, decrease hospitalizations and physician visits, increase self-management, improve school and work attendance, and increase emotional wellbeing in asthmatics across all degrees of asthmatic severity. This literature review concludes that asthmatics should be encouraged to aerobically exercise to reap the research-supported benefits and be less affected by their asthma. Further research is warranted for greater understanding on amount, types, and exertion required when exercising to reap the greatest benefits.