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Monday, January 28, 2013

Getting better lungs

You can do just about anything with asthma, as long as you know what your triggers are and how to avoid them. A trigger I try to be careful with is cold temperatures, so I don't spend a lot of time outdoors in the winter. But it may not be a trigger for other people with asthma, so they can still ski, ice skate, snow shoe and jog in the winter.

In fact there are a lot of Olympic athletes who have asthma, so if they can exercise, we can too!

My kids aren't the best athletes, but there are other ways to build up your lungs. Musical instruments are a great choice. Especially those that you have to blow into such as the french horn, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, clarinet, flute, oboe and even bagpipes.

My kids all play different musical instruments, and it really seems to help increase their lung capacity. Son #2 has severe asthma, but is usually able to play his horn. I think the fact that he has to breathe deeply and then blow into his horn has helped strengthen his lungs.

Son #1 plays the bagpipes, and you need a big set of lungs to play those! I was always shocked when I would see his peak flow readings, because Son #1 inherited my height  (or lack there of.) He isn't very tall, but boy does he have a set of lungs. He can really belt out a tune on the bagpipes!

So if you are worried about your child's lung capacity, talk to your doctor. You need to make sure you are treating their asthma correctly with the right combination of medications. And work with your doctor to try out different sports for your child, it's important that they stay active and healthy. And consider adding a musical instrument.

I know, I know, kids hate to practice musical instruments. But they'll thank us later.

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