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Asthma and Swimming: everything you need to know

September 30, 2021

Bronchial asthma is a respiratory tract disease that has chronic and inflammatory nature. The patient suffers from such symptoms as:

  • shortness of breath
  • coughing
  • wheezing

Viruses, infections, inhalation allergens, emotional stress, physical exertion, climatic and environmental factors can provoke the occurrence of this illness. The poor sanitary and bad hygienic living conditions may be the reason too, such as dust and parasites, animal hair, synthetic interior materials, cigarette smoke, vehicle exhaust, polluted air), eating disorders, and a low level of physical activity.

A sedentary lifestyle contributes to both the occurrence and progression of the disease. However, some people can suffer from spasm during significant physical activity. But regular swimming classes can increase the threshold for spasms and reduce their severity.

Is swimming good for asthma patients?

Many people think that swimming is contraindicated or dangerous with bronchial asthma, but it is not. On the contrary, classes in the pool are one of the methods of therapy.

Doctors consider that swimming and aqua therapy are the safest types of physical activity if subject to certain rules and precautions.

Important facts

The pushing power of water lightens the body weight by 80-90%, depending on its degree of immersion. Physical exercises in water, giving the opportunity to practice aerobic exercises, train muscles, improve blood supply to organs and skin, lead to less fatigue and severity of physical and emotional stress, thereby reducing the risk of an attack.

A significant risk factor is the dryness of the mucous membranes of the bronchi. In the humid atmosphere of the pool, the mucous membranes are well moistened, which reduces the risk of spasm.

Can swimming cause asthma?

VERY IMPORTANT! Only swimming in indoor pools is safe, where the water is disinfected by modern methods: with the help of ozone, ultraviolet light, silver, and copper ions. Being in the water with a high concentration of chlorination products - chloramines can significantly increase the likelihood of bronchospasms and asthma attacks while swimming. With regular exposure to chlorinated water and inhalation of its vapors, the risks of disease increase.

So, let's summarize!

Doctors say that with the complex treatment of bronchial asthma, swimming is a good idea. What are the reasons for such a recommendation? And why, in their opinion,  swimming helps to treat asthma?

  • It activates all areas of the lungs. During swimming, a person breathes with all his lungs. This is why swimming is good for the lungs.
  • It increases lung volume. This allows you to remove frequent asthma symptoms.
  •  It minimizes choking attacks. Warm water with a temperature of 28-32 ° C relaxes the smooth respiratory muscles. Remember that swimming in cold water can trigger asthma spasms.
  •  To lead a healthy lifestyle. Swimming promotes respiratory system development and strengthens the body in general.

On the other hand, scientific researchers do not advise people with allergic asthma to swim. Since chlorine-based products violate the protective cover of cells in the lungs, making them even more defenseless. The obvious smell of chlorine is a sign of the presence of "dirt" in the pool and its improper maintenance. Swimmers constantly inhale air from the surface of the water. Therefore, staying in a pool with chlorinated water is dangerous for lung health.

Be healthy!


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