STAY ABOVE WATER WITH EXERCISE-INDUCED ASTHMA

By: Darlene A. Herfurt, MSHA, MBA

Excerpts from the Aquatic Therapy Journal

. . . indicates extensive material eliminated.

This excerpt is approximately 1/3 of the original article. Illustrations of the exercise program, bibliography and resources are not included here.

. . .

OVERVIEW OF EXERCISE-INDUCED ASTHMA . . .

Very often, symptoms are overlooked or ignored. Many attribute EIA symptoms to being out of shape. Adults with EIA attribute their symptoms to a normal decrease in exercise tolerance due to their age. Others deny the symptoms altogether.

The most common symptoms of EIA include coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, or chest tightness during or after physical activity. Less common symptoms include fatigue, stomach ache, headache, or dry throat. . .Failure to diagnose and treat EIA may result in avoidance of physical activity, which results in poor physical conditioning and can then lead to poor self-esteem. . . .

EFFICACY OF AQUATICS FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH ASTHMA . . .

There are numerous reasons why aquatics is good for individuals with asthma. These include low asthmogenicity, induces less severe bronchoconstriction, and enhances ventilatory muscle endurance and mucus clearance. Aquatics is well tolerated, it improves lung capacity, circulation, cough reflex and breath control. It also increases aerobic capacity, overall fitness, balance and coordination, and individuals can work at their own pace. . . .

GUIDELINES FOR PREVENTION OF ASTHMATIC ATTACKS

Pharmaceutical Intervention

Pharmacological and nonpharmacological interventions have been reported to be efficient in the treatment of EIA. The medication of choice for the prevention of EIA is an inhaled Beta 2-agonist, such as albuterol. . . .

Nonpharmacological treatment may include discussion/education about a proper warm-up, climatic conditions, pacing and self-monitoring skills, use of a peak flow meter, improving cardiopulmonary fitness, and choice of activity.

Exercise Guidelines

SUMMARY

EIA can be easily diagnosed and treated. It is a common disorder and may occur in individuals who do not otherwise have asthma. Aerobic training, especially in the pool, should be a component of the overall individualized asthma management plan. When properly treated, individuals with asthma should be able to participate or compete in the majority of physical activities and sports. Swimming, aquatic aerobics, or aquatic therapy are highly recommended due to their low asthmogenicity as well as providing a successful experience with exercise.

 

Asthma Article Response

by Ruth Sova

. . .Although encouraging clients with EIA to exercise may sound contradictory, researchers have found that exercise can improve their condition (Gong).

Additional exercise guidelines suggested by the fitness industry include:

Here is a sample program that Dr. Fran Stanat and I have used.

SAMPLE PROGRAM (FRAN STANAT/RUTH SOVA)

Photos of each exercise only available in the Journal

  1. Ai Chi (with the concentration on diaphragmatic breathing)

 

8 minutes

Contemplating

1 minute

Floating

45 seconds

Uplifting

45 seconds

Enclosing

45 seconds

Folding

45 seconds

Freeing

2 minutes

Accepting

1 minute

2. Interval Training (with Muscle Toning/Strengthening and BackHab) 5 minutes

 

Follow this format:

 

A - Aerobic – walk (or jog) forward and backward at the highest intensity possible

 

T - Tone/Strength – stand at the edge of pool

 

(Watch hypertensive clients for apnea or the Valsalva maneuver during muscle toning/strengthening moves.)

 

A – Walk (or Jog)

20 seconds

T - Abduction Right leg

40 seconds

A - Power walk

20 seconds

T - Abduction Left leg

40 seconds

A - Walk long stride (or Cross Country Ski jog)

20 seconds

T - Hip flexion and extension Right leg

40 seconds

A - Walk with hamstring curls (or jog)

20 seconds

T - Hip flexion and extension Left leg

40 seconds

A - Walk with high knees (or high knee jog)

20 seconds

T - Bilateral shoulder rotation

40 seconds

3. Breath Control Intervals (with BackHab) 4 minutes

 

1) Blow bubbles

30 seconds

2) Walk sideways with squats

30 seconds

3) Bobbing

20 seconds

4) Walk sideways with corresponding lateral flexion

40 seconds

5) Do #1 through #4 again

2 minutes

4. Ai Chi Ne Stretches (with Breathing) 5 minutes

 

Armswing through

20 seconds

Step through

20 seconds

Horizontal Shoulder Adduction/Abduction

40 seconds

Anterior deltoid

20 seconds

Posterior deltoid

20 seconds

Rotation, Right foot, alternate hands

1 ˝ minutes

Rotation, Left foot, alternate hands

1 ˝ minutes

5. Watsu® 7 minutes

 

Water Breath Dance

1 minute

Breath Rock

1 minute

Accordion

1 minute

Rotating Accordion

1 minute

Near Leg Rotation

1 minute

Far Leg Rotation

1 minute

Wall Return

1 minute

Precautions: