Exercise and sport for children with asthma

5) Choosing which exercise

© Crown copyright 2010

© Crown copyright 2010

Exercise need not be expensive. You and your child can walk or run for free and this is a good activity to start with if they have not exercised for some time.

Choose exercises which they can build up or down grade and which have short bursts and rest periods. In this way they can modify the exercise as they start to improve.

Do they prefer to exercise indoors or outdoors? Most children prefer to exercise with others but it does not have to be in a competitive sport if your child is concerned about this. Some children may prefer to exercise with one or two friends rather than in large groups. As they start any new exercise it can be useful to have someone to exercise with for company and motivation.

Suggestions for moderate exercise:

  • Any play activity which includes movement like skipping.
  • Brisk walking.
  • Swimming or water based exercise and games.
  • Cycling – outdoors or indoors on a static bike.
  • Jogging or running games like “tag”.
  • Ball games, throwing, catching and running like rounders or cricket.
  • Dancing, tap, ballet, country dancing, jazz, street dance, disco, hip hop, cheer leading.
  • Yoga.
  • Gymnastics such as rhythmic gymnastics, movement to music.

If your child attends an organised exercise group make sure the instructor knows about their asthma and has a copy of their asthma plan. Make sure your child takes their inhalers with them. See NHS – Change 4 life for ideas on exercise.