Getting in shape can pay dividends throughout your life. For people with asthma and allergies, asthma triggers can make the path to a healthy lifestyle more challenging (but just as rewarding). Common asthma triggers such as allergens and smoking are everywhere. Pollutants — both outside and inside the home — can be a problem for people with asthma. Asthma sufferers can take steps to limit their exposure at home, such as reducing dust and humidity, but it’s a different story when they go to the gym.

Take Precautions at the Gym

While gyms offer members the proper tools to get fit, they can also be filled with asthma triggers. Consider the following tips provided by the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology to make your next trip to the gym a healthy and productive one:

Bring your own gear. If you have a latex allergy, you may want to bring your own supplies (such as a yoga mat). If you are allergic to fragrant laundry detergents, you should bring your own towel for post-workout showers.

Consider pool alternatives. Pools treated with chlorine can cause breathing problems and eye irritation. You may want to consider swimming in fresh or salt water, or skipping the pool altogether. Indoor cycling classes are easy on the joints and provide a good alternative cardio workout to swimming.

Identify allergens in your food. If you have a food allergy, make sure to check the ingredients on energy bars, smoothies and protein shakes. Common allergens can be found in many gym snacks.

Monitor your breathing. If you have trouble breathing during exercise, make sure to use your inhaler, warm up before exercising, and stop to catch your breath when needed. Don’t forget to perform a cool-down exercise when you’re finished!

Prepare for disinfectant disruptions. Chemicals in some disinfectants used in gyms can trigger allergies. You may consider taking your medicine before hitting the gym.

Wear the right fabrics. If you are allergic to synthetic materials, consider wearing workout clothes made of cotton.

See an allergist. An allergist can help you identify your allergies and asthmatic triggers, and help you avoid them in the future. 


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Children With Asthma Can Fight Childhood Obesity
  • There are approximately 6.2 million children in the United States with asthma. With childhood obesity on the rise — 17 percent of children between the ages of 2 and 19 are obese — it is important that children and parents understand that asthma does not mean exercise is off limits.
  • Fast breathing during exercise can sometimes trigger a person’s asthma, but physical activity is still a good way to improve lung health and stay fit. Yoga, bicycling and golf are great activities for children with asthma because they allow children to control their breathing. These activities can also be done with their friends, which is helpful in case an asthma attack occurs.
  • With a combination of medication, a plan to reduce exposure to allergens and asthma triggers in the home and at school, and a regular asthma-friendly exercise plan, children can stay healthy with very few changes in their everyday life.


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