Exercise-Induced Asthma

We all know that we should be exercising at least 30 minutes every day, though I’m sure most of elect to ignore that. My personal favorite is a walk/jog. However, I always get this tight feeling in my throat that makes it hard to breathe and is often the cause of my hesitation when exercising. I don’t know if it’s asthma or not, but perhaps understanding how to exercise with asthma may help solve my problem.

Supposedly, breathing through your nose warms up the air before it reaches your lungs, whereas breathing through your mouth sends cold, dry air straight to the lungs. The cold dry air can irritate your airways and cause the muscles to tighten, causing shortness of breath, a tight feeling in the chest, dry/persistent cough, and wheezing. Being short of breath is common after exercising, but if it doesn’t fade with rest, you may have exercise-induced asthma.

Make sure you have your preventer medicine with you and you take it as prescribed. Stop exercising if asthma symptoms appear and take care of them. Make sure you understand your triggers and, if you exercise with others, that they know how to help if an asthma attack happens. Cold weather can also aggravate asthma, so make sure you keep warm or stay inside on particularly cold days. And don’t force yourself to exercise if you’re not feeling well.

You should find the right exercise for you; different people will have different reactions (some people can run marathons while others find yoga works best for them). Even one-minute walks a few times a day could be all you need. Probably one of the most important things is to keep at it, which is something everyone struggles to do. Staying active is easier when it becomes a habit and don’t forget to celebrate your achievements and milestones. Make sure you have plenty of workout options incase circumstances change and don’t beat yourself up if you need a break.

Even if you don’t have asthma, I hope this helped in some way, even if it just helped you understand your workout partner a little more.


Asthma UK: https://www.asthma.org.uk/advice/living-with-asthma/exercise-and-activities/

Better Health Channel: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/asthma-and-exercise

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