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"If you were really fit you wouldn't have asthma"

(65 Posts)
giraffesCantChaChaCha Fri 26-Aug-11 06:56:47

AIBU to think this isn't true? I do think exercise helps - if you are fitter then lungs better so can deal with it easier. But surely if that was a miracle cure it would be "prescribed"? After all it must be cheaper than drugs/hosp admissions/home nebs.

duckdodgers Fri 26-Aug-11 07:00:43

Of course its not true, my DH was born with his asthma which he has has symptoms of since a child. Keeping his weight down and keeping fit of course helps, as in less weight on his lungs. Who has said this then?

bagelmonkey Fri 26-Aug-11 07:01:09

Of course it's not true!
Well, not unless they were lying to us at medical school.

RabbitPie Fri 26-Aug-11 07:04:26

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

QuintessentialShadow Fri 26-Aug-11 07:06:03

Could you not phrase that the other way around? "If I did not have asthma, I could be really fit"?

I know people with Asthma who smokes and dont exercise, and who suffers badly, and people who keep themselves fit and healthy and suffers less.

hildathebuilder Fri 26-Aug-11 07:08:08

I believe Paula Radcliffe suffers frm asthma, she certainly did at school.

GotArt Fri 26-Aug-11 07:09:48

Where did you hear that?

I went off to google it. I found this , but they don't tell you how. It sounds like really, its the medication that is doing the job but you need to exercise for all over health as weight can put strain on the body.

Scaevola Fri 26-Aug-11 07:14:21

Of course it's not true, though I agree with QS that the converse is true for really fit.

Someone with asthma cannot pass the fitness requirements for certain posts (firefighter, Armed Forces etc), though it is certainly possible to reach a level of fitness beyond that of a non-asthmatic couch potato, and to achieve prowess in some sports.

Thistledew Fri 26-Aug-11 07:25:17

If only it were true.

I would not say I am really fit - I am moderately fit and working on improving it- but I do cycle 25+ miles three times a week.

This makes no difference to my allergic asthma, which fortunately is controlled well with medication.

The medication does not really control my exercise induced asthma, which is really annoying. It is true though that the fitter I get, the less I struggle with my asthma. But this is only because I get wheezy when I get out of breath. The fitter I get, the less exercise causes me to get out of breath, therefore the less I wheeze. A big exertion still leaves me wheezing really badly though.

If anyone reading has exercise induced asthma that is controlled by medication, please pm me as I would love to get this under control.

MrsVidic Fri 26-Aug-11 07:34:14

I think it def helps and it either cured my mild asthma or I grew out of it at 22! Running for me helped so much (as did quitting smoking)

giraffesCantChaChaCha Fri 26-Aug-11 07:38:47

My new personal trainer hmm I am not sure he understands asthma tbh, but I went with him because it was advertised that he helps with health conditions.

He does seem nice and asked lots of questions about peak flow (I had to explain it to him) as we arrange a plan on how I would tell if felt asthma was too bad to exercise and at what point I would cancel session. I have booked 5 sessions so will see how it goes.

His reasoning was "I have one friend who plays football and does lots of exercise and he has asthma and it doesn't affect him and one who does no exercise and he has it badly" Surely thats just anecdotal evidence?

I felt a bit blush when he said that like it was my fault.

BagofHolly Fri 26-Aug-11 07:39:53

It's an auto immune disease! How ignorant! YANBU

Tattyhead78 Fri 26-Aug-11 07:48:21

I can't believe this discussion has popped up again after only two weeks! As mentioned, asthma is a response to various factors, could be heat, cold, chemicals, pollen, exercise etc., which is presumably why it precludes you from joining the services (you might not be able to guarantee control in all situations). Just because someone can't join the services because they have asthma it doesn't mean they are unfit, it just means that they are not fit to join the services, just the same as someone who doesn't meet the vision requirements for firearms. Exercise-induced asthma exists, although it can be difficult to separate this from pollution-induced asthma if you are exercising in the pool or outdoors.

You are unlikely to be able to do strenuous exercise unless you have good control over your asthma and it could in fact be extremely dangerous, as your lungs may not be able to get enough oxygen in. I'm not a doctor, but my understanding is that this can ultimately lead to cardiac arrest, but sometimes it can just causes someone to hyperventilate. I suppose it's possible that if you ALREADY have good control that exercise could improve your control. I myself have found this to be the case, but there are times (there is a lot of pollen or pollution, I have a bad cold) when I do need to take reliever medication either before or during heavy exercise.

General consensus among scientists seems to be that the common asthma drugs used in asthmatics do not increase performance beyond what is to be expected if used in line with the recommended therapeutic regime, and would also not improve performance in non-asthmastic individuals if used at those levels.

To say that asthmatics are simply unfit is dangerous in my opinion, because it could discourage children playing sport at school from taking their asthma medication.

Have a look at if you want to read a more scientific description.

Scaevola Fri 26-Aug-11 07:56:26

The fitness requirements for firefighters and the armed forces are precisely because of the strenuous physical activity required. It is not fitness in a narrow sporting sense (though that is part of it) it is really fit.

Poor eyesight is not however an automatic bar to joining up.

pamplemousserose Fri 26-Aug-11 08:00:38

Paul Scholes has asthma. Should think he's pretty fit. Have a biscuit OP

PonceyMcPonce Fri 26-Aug-11 08:01:04

Good grief. What an idiot. He has seen two people with asthma and extrapolated that?

Scaevola Fri 26-Aug-11 08:04:23

Poncey - people do: it's called confirmation bias, and if you start looking for it, you see it everywhere.

The worthwhile nugget at the bottom of this one is, I suppose, that whatever underlying conditions you might have which possibly impact on your levels of fitness (however defined), being physically active will improve your health, mobility and stamina.

lovecat Fri 26-Aug-11 08:06:32

He sounds like an idiot - anecdote should not be the basis of his giving advice or treatment in his job.

Anecdotally, however, grin, DH was v. fit when I met him - played 3 sports regularly, amazing stamina, strong swimmer, you name it - and even though he's now a couch potato he can still outrun/outswim me. Doesn't and didn't stop him being regularly hospitalised over his asthma, though. Gosh, if only he tried a bit harder he could 'get rid' of it.... I must tell him that, the lazy sod wink

Tattyhead78 Fri 26-Aug-11 08:15:13

Scaevola, I see what you are saying in a way. When you talk about fitness you need to qualify it with "fit for what?". For example, firefighters need to be fit to pull people out of burning buildings where there may be hazardous chemicals emitting fumes and without too many ill effects. No doubt many athletes would be unable to do this, they are only fit for the competition for which they have trained. No doubt many firefighters would be unable to run record marathon times (although there are probably some who could if they tried).

But I think that what is being discussed here is all-round fitness for everyday life.

GodKeepsGiving Fri 26-Aug-11 09:46:47

Just not true.

TheMagnificentBathykolpian Fri 26-Aug-11 09:50:25

Well controlled asthma doesn't stop you from being fit, that is true. But you can't exercise asthma away!

I think he's looking at it arseways up. That exercise helps you get rid of asthma rather than having your asthma under control helps you exercise, iyswim.

legspinner Fri 26-Aug-11 09:52:59

AAAGH not true and a personal trainer should know better than that. And yes OP, as you say, it is indeed anecdotal evidence....

Whatmeworry Fri 26-Aug-11 09:53:28

More like if you have asthma its almost impossible to get truly fit.

Pan Fri 26-Aug-11 09:53:46

Paul Scholes eg -
'If you have asthma, you score goals but you can't tackle properly.''grin

New rule.

bubblesincoffee Fri 26-Aug-11 09:53:58

This is the problem with personal trainers.

They are not regualted properly and they can be great but they can also be crap.

I have a qualification that could mean I could take a job as a personal trainer, but I certainly don't know enough to be a good one. They qualification is not worth the paper it's written on tbh.

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