- Non-obese people with asthma could reduce their symptoms and improve their quality of life through diet and exercise.
- A diet that was high in protein and with a low //glycemic index; three sessions of exercise classes per week was recommended.
- Exercise, combined with a healthy diet, could help gain better control of symptoms such as wheezing, chest pain and shortness of breath.
Which Lifestyle Change Can Affect Asthma?
Dr Toennesen and her colleagues worked with a group of 149 patients who were randomly assigned to one of four groups.
Group 1 - They were on a high protein, low glycemic index (low GI) diet. A low GI diet is one that maintains the right levels of sugar in the blood. They were also asked to eat at least six portions of fruit and vegetables per day.
Group 2 - The participants took part in exercise classes three times a week at hospital. These classes included bursts of high intensity activity designed to raise the heartrate, interspersed with more gentle activity.
Group 3 - They took part in the exercise classes and followed the diet.
Control group - None of the treatment was given for them.
After 8 weeks 125 people remained in the study. Researchers questioned patients about their symptoms and about their quality of life, as well as testing their fitness, and the strength and output of their lungs.
Findings of the Study
Dr Toennesen explained: "People with asthma sometimes find exercise challenging and this can lead to an overall deterioration in their fitness. Our study suggests that non-obese asthma patients can safely take part in well-planned, high-intensity exercise. It also shows that exercise combined with a healthy diet can help patients control their asthma symptoms and enjoy a better quality of life.”
- Dr Louise Lindhardt Toennesen et al., Asthma symptoms can be improved by diet and exercise in non-obese patients, European Respiratory Society International Congress (2017).