Running With Exercise-Induced Asthma

August 05, 2014


shutterstock_155466908By Tracey Ferdinand (@ALifeWellMade) Did you know that one in twelve Americans has asthma?  If you’ve been struggling with the chronic lung disease you’re not alone.  Exercise-induced asthma, which occurs after vigorous exercise, can lead to episodes of wheezing, chest tightness, and coughing.  Some researchers argue that regular exercise is one of the best ways to manage asthma.   It can strengthen your respiratory muscles and decrease the sensation of breathlessness.  Essentially, exercise improves your cardiorespiratory condition. Of course certain types of exercise may be more beneficial than others.  Running, for example, can be both good and bad taking into account the intensity, duration, and environment in which you run. So there’s the catch 22 of running with exercise-induced asthma.  You want to run to develop exercise tolerance. However, running can be one of the triggers that induce an asthma attack.  The trick is to create a safe exercise program with your doctor.  A good exercise program consists of properly controlling your asthma by taking medicine and executing your run routine carefully. Your doctor will probably prescribe a type of bronchodilator, which relaxes the muscles around the airways and/or corticosteroid, which reduces inflammation and mucus production inside the airways. In addition, opt for short-distance running instead of long distance.  Warm up then do a few sprints to get your lungs prepped. If you wheeze a bit during your warm up great!  That just means the chances of you actually having an attack during your run decreases.  Finally, try to run indoors to lessen the exposure to triggers such as pollen or cold air.  If you have to run outside check the pollen levels first.  If you have to run in the cold, wear a facemask designed to warm up the air before it reaches your lungs. Tracey Ferdinand is committed to effecting social change through personal health transformations by promoting physical, mental, and spiritual wellbeing.  A self-love disciple, her writing encourages women of color to cultivate vibrant lives prioritizing self-care. Stop by her website at and visit her on instagram @ALifeWellMade.  

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