Walking sure doesn’t seem like a big thing until you can’t do it. It’s also a low-stakes cardio activity many asthmatics like myself can do as an alternative to climbing mountains (aka stairs) and running marathons (aka jogging). My friend Stephen is a champion walker and he’s one of the most severe asthmatics I know. I considered myself a moderately serious weight lifter from the mid 90s through 2012 when I had to quit due to another bout of hemoptysis. Since then my activity level has slowly dropped and dropped, but I can still exercise with dumbbells at home and I can always walk.
I know none of these ideas are earth-shattering, but here are some ways I’ve found to walk more throughout my day.
- Park farther away
- Use the bathroom at the other end of the building at work
- Go up and down every aisle at the grocery store whether or not I need something in that aisle
- Take extra trips when carrying stuff in from the car
- Find reasons to go from one end of the house to the other
Asthma creates this vicious cycle on our health. Besides making it hard to breathe, I have to take fistfuls of medication every day with annoying side effects which include water retention and weight gain. I’d love to always be active, but sometimes this will seriously flare up my asthma causing me to take even more of that medication with the side effects. Once I have been inactive for a while I’ve not only lost muscle tone but I’ve also packed on some water weight and my metabolism is all screwed up. My one friend in all of this is walking. If I’m having a good day I can walk farther and more quickly, and on bad days I can shorten distance and intensity.