Do you feel tightness in your chest or start coughing when you start working out? Do you experience nausea after working out? Do your lungs hurt after running? You might have exercise-induced asthma, also known as sports-induced asthma.
Living an active lifestyle is empowering and boosts your confidence, but for people with asthma, it might pose many challenges. According to an article on the same subject by Cleveland Clinic, "Normally, our nasal passages warm and moisten the air we breathe." Asthma may flare up during exercise because your airways are overly sensitive to temperature and humidity.
Exercise-induced asthma is a condition triggered by physical activity. This type of asthma is usually provoked by physical exertion. Some of the common signs of exercise-induced asthma may include -
Having problems and experiencing nausea after working out can make staying active difficult, but exercise-induced asthma should not come in the way of your passion for fitness. To help you get past this condition and remain in the pink of health, here are some tips to manage asthma induced by exercise.
A proper warm-up and cool-down routine is crucial. Gentle warm-up exercises help prepare your lungs and body for the upcoming physical activity. At the same time, a gradual cool-down period allows your body to ease back to its resting state. Both can reduce the likelihood of an asthma episode.
Choose a place to work out that has lower pollen or air pollution levels. Early morning exercise sessions, when pollution is lower than daytime, can be more asthma-friendly and minimize potential triggers. If you are considering outdoor activities, make sure to track air quality indexes in your area beforehand.
Following a proper breathing technique during exercise goes a long way in managing exercise-induced asthma. Focus on controlled breathing, using your diaphragm rather than shallow breaths. Try different styles, such as pursed lip breathing or belly breathing, to regulate airflow and minimize the chances of exercise-induced asthma attacks.
If you experience nausea after a workout or your lungs hurt after running, you may need to go for activities that are lesser triggers for asthma. Activities such as walking, swimming, or cycling involve short bursts of energy and are generally well-tolerated by individuals with asthma. You can also do yoga or Pilates to achieve more control over your movements and breath and maintain fitness without triggering asthma.
Hydration is underrated. The human body needs water, not just to quench thirst but also to function properly. Staying hydrated helps keep the airways moist and reduces the likelihood of an asthma attack. Drink plenty of water and electrolytic drinks to avoid dehydration during exercise.
Many doctors prescribe inhalers for quick relief from asthma. According to the Allergy and Asthma Network, inhalers relax muscles in the airways and prevent bronchospasm. Before any physical activity, moderate or vigorous, doctors recommend pre-treating your airway. You may need to use your quick-relief albuterol inhaler 10-20 minutes before exercise. This is important even if your symptoms are well controlled. You should also use your albuterol inhaler if symptoms occur during exercise.
When there is dryness in the air, it can irritate and worsen asthma symptoms. During exercising or doing any vigorous physical activity, dehumidification can happen. Hence, maintaining optimal humidity in the environment you exercise in can contribute to healthier airways. To do so, consider investing in a humidifier and get rest.
If exercise-induced asthma makes it difficult to do any physical activity and hinders your fitness, consider talking to a professional who specializes in asthma and allergy management. They can help you manage symptoms and tailor your exercise plan and diet to suit your specific needs. They can help identify if your symptoms are due to asthma or another condition and prescribe appropriate treatment options. Remember, with effective tips and understanding your body's responses, you can effectively manage exercise-induced asthma and enjoy your workouts with greater ease and confidence.
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Shweta Chaubey, has been a Health Products For You contributor since 2021. An advocate-turned-writer, her desire to create meaningful and positive content has brought her to HPFY and what better than writing ...
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