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For Kids: Asthma and Exercise

If you have asthma, you can enjoy sports if you know how to do them safely. Being active can even help your asthma. Besides being fun, exercise can make you a winner in many ways: 

Three children playing soccer. Girl talking to healthcare provider. Boy talking to coach.

  • It makes your lungs healthy, so your asthma bothers you less.

  • It teaches you to stretch, reach, and move in new ways.

  • It gives you plenty of energy.

Safety First

Your doctor can tell you how to exercise safely with asthma. Here are some things to ask:

  • Should I use my inhaler before exercise?

  • How long should I exercise each day?

  • How will I know when to slow down or rest?

  • Should I exercise when I have a cold?

Talk to your P.E. teacher or coach about your asthma. Set up an “asthma signal” with him or her. Send the signal when you need to slow down or stop exercising.

Before and After Exercise

No matter what your sport is, try to follow these asthma safety tips each time you exercise:

  1. Use your inhaler before exercise (if your doctor says to).

  2. Warm up for 5 minutes by stretching or jogging.

  3. Remember, you should be able to talk while you exercise. Slow down or stop if your asthma flares up.

  4. When you’re finished, stretch or just slow down.

Weather Watch

  • In cold weather, bundle up. Breathe in through your nose, not your mouth. This warms up the air before it gets into your lungs.

  • Exercise inside if the air outside is hot, polluted, or full of pollen.

  • Drink water or juice before, during, and after exercise.

  • Don’t give up on exercise! If your asthma still flares up, ask your doctor what to do.


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