So your client has asthma? Just ensure they have their puffer on them and they’ll be okay, right? Tanna Wells, Coach at the Australian Institute of Fitness SA, discusses.
Asthma, although normally well controlled by the sufferer once diagnosed, can cause an elevation in anxiety when participating in huffy puffy’ exercise. It is important that you know the following when working with an asthmatic.
Asthma is a chronic respiratory condition where the airways are inflamed and therefore narrowed, affecting the amount of air inspired and expired with every breath.
Symptoms can be exacerbated in a number of different ways, such as;
An asthma attack differs to asthma as a chronic condition in the way that when the person experiences an attack they will notice rapid shortening or breath and inability to expire their breath; therefore disrupting their normal breathing patterns and potentially increasing their anxiety levels.
Asthmatics should have an asthma management plan set up with their doctor and either carry a preventative and/or a reliever, or a combination medication to manage their symptoms.
Many asthmatics will also know what triggers an increase in their symptoms and more importantly, an asthma attack; however Personal Trainers can assist their client by:
If your client has an asthma attack, first things first, remain clam. Your client doesn’t need you panicking; if anything, you panic will only make them panic and increase the severity of their symptoms.
Obtain the reliever puffer (the grey one known as Ventolin) and spacer, and follow the 4x4x4 method of; 1 puff into the spacer followed by 4 breaths. Repeat this 4 times and wait 4 minutes.
Ensure you client remains upright in a seated position even they may ask to lay down. Keeping them upright will encourage a deeper breath and better assist you with keeping open communication between you and your client.
If after 4 minutes your client hasn’t regained normal breathing patterns, continue to administer the 4x4x4 method and call the ambulance.
Hopefully this never happens to you, however if it does, at least you and your client will be prepared!