5 Ways to Cope With Exercise-Induced Asthma

5 Ways to Cope With Exercise-Induced Asthma

Tooba Pasha Waqar |Oct 25, 2021

Exercise-Induced Asthma Treatment

As a part of the 10% of the global population that suffers from asthma, you have lived your life knowing that you must take extra care of your health. However, with asthma affecting your fitness goals, you may wonder what you can do to comfortably workout. You might not want to hang up your running shoes just yet. Exercise-induced asthma can be disruptive for anyone. But there is a way of treating your asthma without necessarily giving up on your fitness regime. Let’s take a look at exercise-induced asthma treatment options.

Learning About Exercise-Induced Asthma

Any form of strenuous activity causes shortness of breath. However, asthma makes matters a lot worse, and for someone who is not aware of the symptoms, not treating asthma creates long-term problems.

What is Exercise-Induced Asthma?

The term itself is contradictory since it indicates that exercise somehow causes asthma.

This form of an asthma attack that occurs during exercise is more commonly known as exercise-induced bronchoconstriction (EIB). Unlike the phrase exercise-induced asthma, this term explains how exercise triggers bronchial constriction. This constriction leads to a narrowing of the airways, thus causing different symptoms that lead to an asthma attack.

Symptoms of exercise-induced bronchoconstriction include:

  • Chest tightness.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Wheezing.
  • Coughing.

Coughing is a common symptom, so if you have asthma and begin coughing mid-way through your workout, this might indicate EIB.

What Happens During Exercise-Induced Bronchoconstriction?

Symptoms of the condition typically occur a few minutes into your exercise routine. These symptoms evolve from mild to severe if you ignore your symptoms for 20 to 30 minutes. It takes about 5 to 10 minutes for the symptoms to become worse.

Sometimes, people with asthma also experience a second wave of symptoms. This occurs 4 to 12 hours after they have stopped exercising, which is why people must stop working out if they feel any symptoms.

What Causes This Condition?

Several triggers can make EIB worse, such as:

  • Exposure to smoke and fumes.
  • A recent asthma episode.
  • A cold.
  • High pollen count.
  • Pollution levels.
  • Exposure to various irritants.

But, if you exclusively feel an asthma attack during your exercise, this occurs because of your body’s expected reaction to any high-impact activity.

When you begin exercising, you begin breathing faster because your body demands more oxygen. As you breathe deeper, you begin inhaling through your mouth, which causes your throat to become dryer and cooler. The dry and cold air causes your airways to narrow, constricting them.

As a result, your body reacts by going through an asthma attack.

How to Treat Exercise-Induced Asthma

Your primary goal is to prevent further attacks and relax your airways so you have a lower chance of experiencing pain. Here are some tips and tricks you can follow:

1. Use Pre-Exercise Drugs

Speak to your physician about using asthma medication. Medicine such as Albuterol prevents airways from spasms for up to two to three hours. Ask your doctor about the correct procedure when using an inhaler, and don’t be afraid to ask questions about medication and care.

2. Remember to Warm Up and Cool Down

Warming up and cooling down are not only beneficial for muscle health; a good 10-minute warm-up gets your body slowly but steadily used to the increased heart rate, so you feel well-prepared when beginning your exercise. Cooling down prevents any sudden attacks since your airways spasm when your body begins breathing in cold air.

3. Do Not Exercise in the Winter

If you must, exercise indoors. Find a gym or go swimming in a pool indoors. While you might be tempted to workout outdoors so you can breathe in fresh air, any form of strenuous exercise will affect your lungs. Even if you go for a brisk walk outside, wear a scarf around your mouth and breathe through it. Having a scarf on will at least give you a warmer surrounding to breathe in.

4. Do Not Exercise if You’re Sick

Even something like a bad cold can create more significant problems. Let your sickness subside and keep yourself warm while recovering from an upper respiratory issue. Do not run or exercise if you have a cough, and regain your strength before doing any outdoor exercise.

5. Try Swimming

A heavy workout with weights and cardio is not the only exercise option. Swimming is a wonderful choice if you want to stay lean and strong. When swimming indoors or outdoors, be aware of any chemicals that may cause a reaction. Chlorine is a common denominator when it comes to triggers. You’ll want to find a pool that uses reduced chemicals.

Conclusion

Your workout journey should not have to stop because of something like asthma. With the information given above, you will experience a better, open feeling when working out. You’ll feel more energized, too, knowing that you won’t have to worry about any coughing fits while doing intense cardio!

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