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Physical Activity and Asthma: The evidence for it and how to get my patients to do it: A Work Group Report of the AAAAI Sports, Exercise, and Fitness Committee

Published:November 26, 2021DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaip.2021.10.056
      Regular physical activity not only improves general health but also can positively impact asthma outcomes, such as control and quality of life. Despite this, many asthma patients do not engage in regular physical activity because they mistakenly believe that they should restrict exercise participation. Health care providers have an opportunity to influence the physical activity levels of their patients during regular office visits. Nonetheless, health care providers often overlook physical activity counseling as an adjunct to pharmacological therapy in asthma patients, and in particular, overlook physical activity counseling. Some providers who acknowledge the benefits of physical activity report being unaware how to approach a conversation with patients about this topic. To address these issues, members of the Sports, Exercise, and Fitness Committee of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (AAAAI) performed a focused literature search to identify and evaluate the effects of physical activity in patients with asthma. The purpose of this report is to summarize the evidence for physical activity’s impact on asthma patients’ disease control, pulmonary function, and overall well-being. Several subpopulations of patients with asthma, including children, adolescents, and older adults, are considered individually. In addition, this report offers practical recommendations for clinicians, including how to identify and overcome barriers to counseling, and methods to incorporate physical activity counseling into asthma treatment practice.

      Key words

      Abbreviations used:

      EIB (Exercise-induced bronchoconstriction), FEV1 (Forced expiratory volume in 1 second), FVC (Forced vital capacity), TTM (Transtheoretical model)
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