There are two things that are often said about fitness among children with asthma: either it’s unsafe for them to participate in almost any physical activity, or physical activity is recommended to reduce their asthma (particularly swimming). Unfortunately, asthma is a common problem among children and it is a health issue that they would have to regulate from childhood to adulthood.
Asthma may vary in degree – some have mild while some have severe. This is partly why many parents do as much as they can to reduce the risk of their children’s asthma from worsening as early as possible. Oral medicines, inhalers, and nebulizers are popular among asthmatics. Exercise, however, sometimes take a back seat.
Exercise is good for asthmatics
A pediatric pulmonologist at National Jewish Health by the name of Dr. Tod Olin said in an article that asthmatic children should exercise because neglecting this would cause other serious problems such as obesity. Proper precaution such as inhalers can be taken before engaging in physical activities to ensure safety and of course, lots of fun! Exercising at a young age should be a practice because it introduces children to an active lifestyle that benefits their health in the long run.
Humid air in swimming pools keeps asthma away!
The reason why swimming is often the recommended exercise for children (and adults) with asthma is because the humid air inhaled in swimming pools keeps the airways safe from dryness. Asthma is often triggered by cold and dry weather, but swimming pools have a warm and moist environment which allows children to worry less about possibly wheezing during a fun water activity. In fact, swimming keeps the child’s airways open despite increased rate in breathing. Ultimately, swimming promotes an active and healthy lifestyle among asthmatic kids because it ensures an asthma-safe environment unlike other sports that may be subject to cold and dry weather.
Swimming has been used for treating asthma for many years
There have been many observations that were conducted to prove if swimming really does improve regulate asthma. The results often show that those who undergo swimming experience significant health improvements in their lung function and airway activity. In addition, there was even a period in time when asthma medicines were not as developed as they are today – they weren’t very effective. Hence, swimming was the common practice for managing children’s asthma since it seemed to be an effective remedy. Although there aren’t enough studies to fully explain how swimming reduces asthma, much of the evidence is seen in the lifestyle improvements of the individuals who swam.
Swimming builds cardiovascular health
Another benefit of swimming is improvement in cardiovascular health. The body’s circulatory system is comprised of the heart and blood vessels. These play a vital role in distributing nutrients and oxygen to the tissues of the body, as well as removing carbon dioxide and waste.
Cardiovascular health improves through exercise. The stronger one’s heart is, the more health benefits one experiences. For instance, good cardiovascular health helps maintain normal blood pressure and body weight. It also reduces bad cholesterol while increasing both good cholesterol and insulin sensitivity. Furthermore, studies suggest that those who lead an active lifestyle are less likely to suffer from coronary heart disease; yet if so, it would be at a later age and at a lower degree of severity.
Swimming helps improve the health of children with asthma because it is an environment-friendly exercise that keeps children (and adults) from common asthma triggers. Unlike other activities such as jogging, swimming pools are not subject to cold and dry weather (especially indoor pools) which are the common culprits for blocked airways leading to wheezing.
Swimming enables asthmatic children to exercise regularly and therefore foster a healthy lifestyle that they will carry over to adulthood. Indeed, it important to note that exercise must not take a back seat when managing asthma because although inhalers and oral medicine may help, problems like obesity are not prevented by such aids. Exercise is important. It plays an important role in the asthmatic child’s life.
Enroll your child to Noodies Swim School
We aim to teach differently-abled students the basics of swimming through colorful play and meaningful activities. See our packages below and ENROLL TODAY!
Special Needs Class: an individualized swimming program based on therapies, school, and/or home programs (45 minutes to 1 hour)
One-on-One Class: (45 minutes to 1 hour)
Buddy Class: 2 students per class (45 minutes to 1 hour)
Group Class: 3 to 5 students per class (45 minutes to 1 hour)
Pool Party: Great for celebrations with a maximum number of 30 participants (2 to 3 hour program)
Waterworks: There are two programs to choose from: 1) low-impact Aqua Zumba dance exercises, or 2) strength, cardio, and plyometric HydroFit training (45 minutes to 1 hour)
Read more on the benefits of swimming!