Asthma,Exercise

Tabata: Funny Name, Serious Exercise for Asthma Sufferers (and everyone else!)

Tabata: Funny Name, Serious Exercise for Asthma Sufferers

What if we told you asthma doesn’t have to stop you from exercising?

And what if we told you it would only take four minutes out of your day?

Four minutes to healthier lungs, a stronger body, increased metabolism, toner muscles, and much more.

It’s called Tabata.

Tabata: Funny Name, Serious Exercise for Asthma Sufferers

Tabata was pioneered in the 1990s and has exploded in popularity over the past few years. The key is going as hard as you can go for a short burst and then resting. One of the most popular forms of the workout (from Stephan Cabral) made the rounds on Pinterest a few months ago.

Here’s the breakdown:

Squat Thrusts (20 seconds)
Rest (10 seconds)
Mountain Climber (20 seconds)
Rest (10 seconds)
High Knees x 20 seconds
Rest (10 seconds)
Jumping Jacks (20 seconds)
Rest (10 seconds)
Squat Thrusts (20 seconds)
Rest (10 seconds)
Mountain Climber (20 seconds)
Rest (10 seconds)
High Knees (20 seconds)
Rest (10 seconds)
Jumping Jacks (20 seconds)
Rest (10 seconds)
Done!

The fancy term for workouts like this one is low-volume high-intensity interval training: a short workout where you alternate between intervals of intense exercise and rest. And unlike most fad workouts that claim to work miracles, this one has a lot of science behind it.

Just a few minutes of workouts like Tabata can lead to drastic improvements in your health, especially with chronic conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and yes, even asthma.

A 2003 French study found that asthmatic children who participated in high-intensity activity for 45 minutes, 3 times a week—going at their maximum for 1 minute and resting for 4 minutes in 9 sets—had higher lung capacities and took in more oxygen after 6 weeks. A different 2012 study found the same results.

And this study from Australia found that high-intensity training could decrease fatigue and increase lung function in people with moderate to severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

For many people who find exercise difficult due to asthma, COPD, or other respiratory problems, Tabata training can be a good way to improve both your lung health and your overall wellbeing.

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