Exercises and yoga help respiratory function in asthmatics – 09/19/2023 – Balance

Exercises and yoga help respiratory function in asthmatics – 09/19/2023 – Balance

Yoga and other exercises can help improve lung function in asthmatic patients, shows a review of studies led by Chinese scientists at Henan University, recently published in the Annals of Medicine, which compared the effect of different respiratory practices in cases of asthma.

To reach the result, the authors carried out a meta-analysis of 28 studies, which included more than 2,100 volunteers and addressed various breathing techniques, from aerobic exercises to relaxation techniques and yoga. Lung health was assessed using spirometry tests, which measure the amount of air the patient can move when inhaling and exhaling.

All types of exercises evaluated demonstrated benefits for lung function, with yoga and breathing exercises combined with aerobic training standing out.

“Current studies have shown that physical exercise can improve asthma control and lung function, reduce acute episodes of the disease, in addition to benefiting quality of life and anxiety”, says pulmonologist Ricardo Magaldi, from Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein .

According to physiotherapist Lavinia Clara Del Roio, from the Occupational, Environmental and Smoking Cessation Respiratory Diseases Group at the Heart Institute (InCor), in São Paulo, “techniques focused on abdominal breathing stimulate the diaphragm, the main muscle involved in expansion and in the contraction of the lungs”. Furthermore, according to the expert, yoga involves postures that promote blood circulation.

Care when exercising

In the past, physical activity was contraindicated for asthmatics, as it was believed that it could trigger or worsen attacks. In fact, patients with poorly controlled disease often experience symptoms during exercise. Some even manifest the condition only during physical activity, a condition known as exercise-induced asthma or exercise-induced bronchospasm.

However, today, physical activity is recommended as part of the routine to improve general health and asthma. “There is no way to say that one exercise is better than another. It is important to maintain medical monitoring to assess the stabilization of the clinical condition and the response to medications, or even whether there may be a condition of asthma induced by physical exertion”, advises Magaldi, pulmonologist .

“Physical activity needs to be done safely, taking into account individual characteristics such as age, environmental factors and disease control”, adds Del Roio. Therefore, it must be implemented gradually and well guided by the doctor, considering possible triggers for crises, such as temperature, humidity, presence of allergens, as well as the medications necessary to control the condition.

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