It is generally agreed upon and widely known that physical activity improves health. However, exercise is commonly associated with health improvements based on its effects on the cardiovascular system and its ability to, for instance, help people maintain a healthy wait and reduce their risks for chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes.
A new review, however, helps to highlight the benefits that physical exercise can have for those who suffer from asthma. Specifically, the review, published in the Journal of Health Psychology suggests that interventions aimed at promoting exercise amongst those with asthma can improve both asthma symptoms as well as the quality of life for those with asthma.
While exercise such as aerobics and strength training has been though to help asthma patients, many patients do not enjoy the benefits because they struggle to get exercise for various reasons including suffering from other health conditions or having trouble traveling to fitness facilities. Indeed, research shows that those with asthma are more likely to be sedentary than those without asthma.
The physician and researcher team found that when digital interventions such as smart watches, mobile apps, and video appointments were employed, these interventions could help overcome barriers that prevented asthma patients from getting the exercise that could help them. Not only could these interventions increase physical activity, but they could potentially also improve asthma symptoms and improve quality of life amongst those with asthma.
Based on these findings in the literature, future research should focus on how such interventions can best be employed to encourage asthma patients – and potentially other patient populations who do not get enough exercise – to get more physical activity.
Tyson L, Hardeman W, Marquette M, Semlyen J, Stratton G, Wilson AM. A systematic review of the characteristics of interventions that promote physical activity in adults with asthma: https://doi.org/101177/13591053211059386. Published online December 29, 2021:135910532110593. doi:10.1177/13591053211059386