Cardio exercises prevent  severe asthma attacks

New Delhi : Life had been slowly going downhill for 36-year-old car mechanic Cyril Joseph ever since he was diagnosed with ashtma five years ago. Inhaling toxic exhaust fumes all day long was an occupational hazard he couldn’t prevent while the expensive medication hardly provided any relief and instead burnt a hole in his pocket.

However, it was in late 2014 when Joseph got a rude awakening about his deteriorating health condition as a severe asthma attack resulted in pushed him into respiratory and cardiac arrest. After a miraculous survival, the father of two decided to shake things up and paddle his way to fitness – literally.

“On that fateful night, I saw death staring at my face. I promised myself that if I survived, I will transform my life for my two children,” an emotional Joseph told IANS.

In the wake of the cardiac arrest, the doctors found that Joseph’s respiratory and cardiac system had grown extremely weak over the years and medication alone wouldn’t help. That’s when Joseph was adviced to start a workout that included cycling, jogging, walking, swimming and the like.

Joseph immediately decided to ride a cycle to work from home, a distance of about eight km, in addition to joining cardio classes near his home on alternate days. He also tries his best to avoid fumes as much as possible. “Today, I am much fitter and the frequent asthma attacks have reduced considerably,” he said.

Even though asthma has no cure, health experts said that globally, attempts are being made to improve cardiac fitness by simultaneously working on the heart and lungs to stabilize asthmatic patients.

“It has been found that those patient who regularly do cardio exercises are able to reduce respiratory problems caused by asthma,” Vikas Maurya, head of the department of respiratory medicine, interventional pulmonology, allergy and sleep disorders at B.L.K. hospital, told IANS.

Emphasising that cardio-exercise requires a lot muscle movement and raises the heart rate to at least 50 percent, Maurya said some of the benefits include decreased blood pressure, increased good cholesterol, decreased body fat, improved blood flow to the active muscles and helps to increase the heart and lung function. “As it improves lung function, it is beneficial for asthma patients,” he said.

(May 5 is World Asthma Day)

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