Almost 19 million American adults have adult-onset asthma, a chronic lung disease that inflames and narrows the airways. About 90 percent of them — and about 10 percent of the general population — periodically suffer a related condition called exercise-induced bronchoconstriction, in which someone doing strenuous exercise suddenly struggles to be able to breathe, with little or no warning.

It’s understandable that adults with these conditions may find some types of fitness to be an arduous endeavor that ultimately won’t be worth the effort. But experts say that knowledge of both conditions is improving and, in consultation with physicians, it is possible for sufferers to exercise and maintain an active lifestyle.