Asthma, a chronic inflammatory disorder of the airways is associated with variable obstruction to the airways and is provoked by many triggers including exercise. The management of asthma is primarily pharmacological, but exercise, despite causing bronchoconstriction in almost all asthmatics, is an important adjunct to treatment. With adequate control of the hyperresponsive airways obtained with inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) and inhaled beta 2 agonists (IBA), used as both a pre-exercise preventive agent and a reliever if necessary, all asthmatics should benefit from an exercise program. Some have realised this benefit with such success as to become Olympic and world champions in many sports. Exercise programs should be individually tailored, follow established guidelines and result in similar benefits to those obtained by non-asthmatics. However asthmatics must try to avoid or minimise triggers whenever possible. A specific benefit of a physical training program is that it allows asthmatics to exercise with less bronchoconstriction at the same exercise stress, although it does not abolish or reduce airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR).
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