In a programme to examine the effect of 5 months of swimming training on school-children with asthma, 46 children swam a total distance of 3608 km (2242 miles) during 2806 training sessions. On post-training re-examination, nonspecific effects of physical conditioning were detected including improved posture and fitness, reduced fat folds, and enhanced swimming ability. Continuous monitoring of asthma and medication showed significant decreases in both parameters during the final phases of the study between children who continued to swim regularly and those who did not. The frequency and severity of exercise-induced asthma (after running) was unchanged by swimming training. Post-training questionnaires indicated a high degree of enthusiasm and acceptance of the programme by children and parents. No significant adverse effects were observed or reported during the study.
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