Asthma-Friendly Winter Activities for December

Asthma-Friendly Winter Activities for December

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Written by BFH Staff Writer on December 8, 2023

Winter can be beneficial for individuals with asthma compared to other seasons for a few reasons. First, the cold air in winter is drier, which can help ease asthma symptoms for some people. In colder temperatures, the air has less moisture, reducing the risk of mucus production and congestion in the airways.

Additionally, winter is less likely to trigger certain allergens like pollen, which can act as asthma triggers for many individuals. During the winter months, pollen levels are lower because of the dormant state of plants and trees, reducing the chances of asthma.

However, it’s important to note that cold air can still irritate the airways of some individuals with asthma, making them more sensitive and prone to its symptoms. We have explained some reasons that trigger winter asthma below:

  1. Cold and dry winter air can irritate airways and inflame them, leading to breathing difficulties for individuals with asthma.
  2. During the colder months, people may spend more time indoors, where indoor allergens such as dust mites, mold, and pet dander can trigger asthma symptoms.
  3. Respiratory viral infections such as the flu and the common cold are more common in winter and can also trigger asthma symptoms or worsen existing symptoms. 
  4. Lastly, cold air can cause decreased blood flow in the airways and narrow them, which leads to inflammation and constriction in the airways. 

Doctors recommend mild winter exercises to stay fit and keep the respiratory tract healthy.

We’ve put together an amazing list of asthma-friendly winter activities that will keep you breathing easy and let you enjoy every single moment of this beautiful month.

Asthma-Friendly Activities For Winter

Winter Strolls in Nature

When the snow blankets the world in a serene white, take a stroll in a nearby park. Choose a paved path to avoid inhaling cold air too quickly, and bundle up with a scarf to warm the air before it enters your lungs. The crisp winter air can refresh your body without triggering asthma symptoms.

Gentle Yoga Indoors

Winter is the perfect time to explore indoor activities, and what better way than with some gentle yoga? It not only helps to improve your breathing but also enhances flexibility and reduces stress. There are plenty of online resources and apps with asthma-friendly yoga routines to guide you through a relaxing session from the warmth of your home.

Winter Swimming in Heated Pools

For water enthusiasts, winter swimming can be a fantastic, asthma-friendly activity. Opt for a heated indoor pool to stay warm and avoid the cold air shock. Swimming is a low-impact exercise that promotes cardiovascular health and strengthens your respiratory muscles.

Mindful Breathing Exercises

Mindful breathing exercises enhance your lung capacity and overall respiratory health. Techniques such as pursed lip breathing and diaphragmatic breathing can be particularly beneficial for individuals with asthma. Practice them regularly to build resilience against triggers.

Indoor Rock Climbing

If you’re seeking a bit of adventure, consider indoor rock climbing. Many facilities offer controlled environments where you can enjoy climbing without exposure to cold weather. It’s a great way to stay active and challenge yourself while maintaining your asthma-friendly routine.

Here are Some Asthma Prevention Tips for Winter

Wear Layering Clothing

Dressing up in layers is a simple yet effective way to protect against the cold. Layering clothing traps heat close to the body and ensures that the air you breathe is warmer when it reaches your lungs.

Covering the Face

Wearing a scarf or a mask that covers the nose and mouth warms the air before you inhale it. This simple barrier provides an additional layer of protection against the cold air.

Indoor Air Quality

Regularly clean and dust your living spaces, and consider using air purifiers to filter out potential irritants and allergens like dust. 

Stay Active with Indoor Exercises

Physical activity is essential for maintaining overall health, but during cold weather, choose indoor exercises to reduce exposure to chilly air. Activities like indoor swimming, yoga, or stationary cycling can be asthma-friendly alternatives.

Stick to Medication Plans

Commitment to your medication routine during winter is essential for a person with asthma. Medications control inflammation and keep the airways open to reduce the risk of asthma. 

Consulting with Healthcare Professionals

Individual responses to cold weather can vary, and it’s crucial to consult with healthcare professionals for personalized advice. They can assess your specific asthma triggers, adjust medication plans if necessary, and provide guidance on managing symptoms during winter.

In case of an emergency, there are several over-the-counter (OTC) medications commonly used during the winter months to relieve symptoms of cold, flu, and allergies.

Decongestants: These medications work by narrowing the blood vessels in the nasal passages, helping to relieve nasal congestion.

Antihistamines: These medications reduce congestion and alleviate symptoms such as runny nose, sneezing, and itching due to allergies.

Cough Suppressants: These medications reduce the need to cough by suppressing the cough reflex. Common cough suppressants include dextromethorphan (e.g., Robitussin DM) and codeine (prescription only)

So, why wait? Start planning your asthma-friendly winter adventure today and create memories that will last a lifetime.

FAQ

Does asthma get worse in cold weather?

Yes, cold weather can often exacerbate asthma symptoms. The dry, cold air can irritate airways and trigger asthma attacks in some individuals.

Is asthma worse in winter compared to other seasons?

For many asthma sufferers, winter tends to be a challenging season due to factors like cold air, respiratory infections, indoor allergens, and increased exposure to triggers like smoke from wood-burning stoves or fireplaces.

Does asthma get worse in the winter months?

Yes, asthma can worsen during winter due to various reasons such as exposure to cold, dry air, increased indoor allergens (dust mites, mold), heightened respiratory infections, and the circulation of indoor pollutants.

How does cold weather affect asthma?

Cold air can cause airway constriction and irritation, making it harder for individuals with asthma to breathe. This irritation can lead to coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath, potentially triggering an asthma attack.

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