Adults with asthma can breathe easier thanks to yoga


A study found that the most crucial workouts for asthmatics wanting to improve their lung function were yoga and breathing exercises paired with cardiovascular training.

The research, which was published in the Annals of Medicine journal, highlights how important it is to incorporate the proper kind of fitness training into asthma care plans.

The findings, in the opinion of the study's primary author Shuangtao Xing, an associate professor in the School of Physical Education at Henan Normal University, demonstrate the potency of specific exercise training regimens in enhancing lung function in those adults.

“Breathing training combined with aerobic training, and yoga training, appear to be particularly advantageous – offering potential avenues for effective treatment approaches,” he stated.

“Larger, well-designed randomised controlled trials are now needed to more accurately estimate the benefits of exercise training for individuals with asthma.”

Around 339 million people worldwide suffer from asthma, a chronic lung disease that manifests as coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and tightness in the chest. Exercise was once thought to precipitate or exacerbate acute asthma attacks, making it a possible risk factor for those who have the condition.

Recent research, however, has shown that exercise training can really improve adult patients' respiratory function and exercise capability. Comparing the efficacy of various rehabilitation programmes, however, has proven to be difficult due to discrepancies in the precise exercise treatments in the RCTs that have already been conducted.

The current study compares the effects of several types of exercise training on lung function in persons with asthma in order to solve this issue by simultaneously comparing data from multiple treatments in a single analysis using a network meta-analysis.

In total, 28 RCTs including 2,155 asthmatics were included in the study, which looked at how breathing exercises, aerobic exercises, relaxation exercises, yoga exercises, and breathing exercises mixed with aerobic exercises affected lung function.

Furthermore, the researchers applied a statistical technique to rank the effects of different exercise treatments against each other.

Relaxation training showed the most significant effect on improving FEV1 levels, breathing combined with aerobic exercise had the most significant effect on improving FVC levels, and yoga training had the most significant effect on improving PEF levels.

“These findings should provide valuable insight for healthcare professionals prescribing exercise training for the management of adult asthma patients.  However, it is essential to consider individual factors, such as family history, duration of the condition, and environmental influences, when designing exercise rehabilitation programs.”

“Tailoring interventions to individual physical and mental health conditions, with careful consideration of exercise intensity, frequency and duration, is important for optimising treatment outcomes,” said Shuangtao Xing.

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