One of the first things you ask yourself when your kid is diagnosed with asthma is this: Can my kid ever play sports or even exercise?

The answer is, “Yes!” It’s all about choosing the right activity that’s not only safe but one that she actually enjoys! Children don’t have to be deprived of sports just because they suffer from asthma. While certain sporting activities are probably not a good fit, there are still many benefits any child can earn from being active, asthma or no. Fortunately, with today’s medical technology it’s possible to live normal lives even with asthma.

Just because exercise can induce asthma attacks, it doesn’t mean that your kid should be deprived of living an active lifestyle. Children’s sports are an important part of children’s health. Exercising even when you have asthma has many benefits. It can:

  • help reduce symptoms
  • improve breathing
  • reduce stress

Before letting your kid participate in any kind of sport or physical activity, it’s best to consult his or her pediatrician first. Ask about the options and limitations.

Here are three exercises that are recommended for kids with asthma.

Swimming

This is probably one of the most intimidating sports, especially for kids with asthma. However, swimming is actually considered one of the best exercises because it builds up the breathing muscles. The lungs are exposed to an abundance of warm and moist air.

Amy Van Dyken, gold medalist swimmer, had an asthma when she was a kid. That didn’t stop her from taking swimming lessons. In fact, her doctor advised her to take up swimming because of “the rhythmic breathing and humid air that might help stretch out her lungs.

Biking

When your youngster finally asks you for a bike, you don’t have to worry. Biking is a safe sport for kids with asthma.  Emphasizing the importance of a good warm up before the ride makes a huge difference. More importantly, having a clear asthma action plan can help you and your kid stay on top of the symptoms. A lot of the physical exertion in biking is in the legs, so it isn’t overly taxing to the lungs and respiratory system. It’s one of the best sports for children with asthma to get into.

Yoga

While not necessarily considered a sport, it surely is one of the best exercises for kids with asthma. According to a study published in 2012, “yoga training over 10 weeks significantly improved quality of life scores for women with mild to moderate asthma.”

Low intensity Yoga like Hatha is a good way to ease into the practice. Nowadays, there are many studios that will allow you to practice Yoga with your kids. It not only promotes a healthy and active lifestyle at such a young age, but it also helps with focus and concentration.

Try each one of these exercises or try them all! The trick is to find which one best suits your kid’s interest and overall well-being.