Will swimming cure asthma?

There are no claims by professionals that swimming can cure asthma, whereas, many studies have done that shows that swimming is able to reduce the amount of asthma attacks and the severity of it.

Swimming to reduce asthma

The Department of Pedatrics, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, found that asthmatic children who where involved in a two-month, consistent program of swim training, showed “significant improvement in all clinical variables”, including “symptoms, hospitalisations, emergency room visits and the school absenteeism compared with their previous medical history or to those of age-matched controls. In addition, these benefits were more visible even up to a full year after the program was discontinued.

Asthma – Swimming the best exercise?

If you take different kinds of exercise so that you use the same amount of oxygen in each one, some will cause more wheeziness or chest tightness than others. Running outdoors will in general be worse than swimming. In fact swimming is one of the best forms of exercise for people with asthma because it usually causes the least amount of chest tightness. Running indoors on a treadmill, or cycling on an indoor exercise bike will come somewhere between outdoor running and swimming.

Other factors influence the amount of worsening of your breathing which you get from a particular form of exercise. Generally for example, if the air you breathe is cold and dry, the asthma will be worse. If it is warm and moist, the asthma will be less bad. This explains why swimming generally causes less asthma than outdoor running.

Myth – Swimming causes asthma

There had been many reports that states swimming can cause asthma due to the use of chlorine to treat the water. This might be true in poorly maintained swimming pools, but swimming pools in Singapore meets a certain criteria in order to operate. In many countries, strong chlorine gas may with a pH level not even fit for usual swimmers without asthma, which has been put into the study.

In Singapore Swimming Academy, we have set up a research team to evaluate the number of students having who has asthma, and the amount times asthma is being triggered in the course of swimming and when they are not swimming. Up till now, the number of asthma being triggered in the course of swimming is 0%.