Research has shown that swimming aids asthma symptoms in children. The activity has been proven to be an effective non-pharmacological intervention for children and adolescents, according to a study in Respirology published by Wiley-Blackwell.
Researchers divided children between the ages of seven to twelve into two groups. One group underwent a six-week swimming program in addition to their regular asthma treatments. All of the children in the experimental program showed significant improvement in all clinical variables including symptoms, hospitalizations, emergency room visits and school absenteeism.
Other improvements included asthma severity, mouth-breathing, snoring, chest deformity, self-confidence and general feelings of disadvantage.
"Unlike other sports, swimming is unlikely to provoke asthma attacks. In addition to improving asthma, swimming promotes normal physical and psychological development, such as increasing lung volume, developing good breathing techniques and improving general fitness," said lead author, Wang Jeng-Shing from the Taipei Medical University.
He added, "Not only is swimming an excellent form of exercise for children with asthma, the health benefits reaped continued to be observed for at least a year after the completion of the swimming program."