It is very inconvenient and frustrating for athletes when they find that they are suffering from breathing problems which may or may not be asthma.
In many cases, athletes or runners think that they have asthma, but in many cases, it is not the actual problem.
So, before you take any further step in treating your asthma symptoms after running – it is important for you to get knowledgeable about your problem, get diagnosed properly and find out whether you have asthma or not.
Here in this article, we will be talking about how running can affect your asthma problems and what runners can do to overcome it if they are suffering from asthma (or better called as exercise-induced asthma).
In This Article ...
Is Running Good For Asthma?
Studies reveal that asthma can be reduced slowly by practicing regular exercises, as it helps to strengthen your immune system. But for an asthmatic, not all the exercises are useful in this regard.
And for this reason, you need to visit your doctor to collect the list of exercises that can efficiently handle your asthma symptoms.
Although doctors recommend asthma patients to get indulged in regular exercises like running, it is not the best option for you especially when you get frequent asthma attacks after running.
Well, this does not mean that you should not/can not benefit from running and exercising just because you are suffering from asthma.
You can either try running softly for few minutes daily OR if you cannot run and exercise, you can try various other activities (such as walking, swimming, gymnastics, etc) which are not so intense.
[Also Read: Can sinus cause asthma?]
Asthma Attack After Running: Risk Factors
Athletes with asthma usually show the sign of attack after running. And due to this, their practice often gets interrupted due to severe asthma problems.
Even for a common person who is passionate about running and exercising, it becomes very hard for them to run faster with asthma.
The major factor which is most of the time responsible is cold dry air in winters. Running with asthma in cold weather actually constrict your airways, triggering asthma symptoms.
And for this reason, doctors usually advise not to exercise in cold weather outside. They also recommend not to get indulged in sporting activities such as ice skating, ice hockey, etc which can easily trigger the asthma problems.
In addition to cold dry air; factors such as pollen count, pollution, smoke, etc are also sometimes responsible for getting running asthma symptoms. Asthmatics should, therefore, avoid running in these conditions.
Running Induced Asthma: Signs and Symptoms
In most of the cases, symptoms of running asthma symptoms include:
- Breathing through the mouth during running
- Severe coughing and chest tightening while running
- Wheezing and unusual exhaustion while doing the exercises
- Reduced stamina level and extended breath shortness during the runs
If you find yourself suffering from the above mentioned athletic asthma symptoms, you should get in touch with your asthma doctor as soon as possible to ensure the possible asthma problem.
With few essential medical checkups, your doctor can help you know about the real issue along with safety instructions and particular treatment options.
The good news for you is, you can easily control and manage your asthma attacks with proper treatment and preventive measures.
You just need to be motivated and work hard so that you can easily overcome all your problems related to asthma without any hassle.
[Also Read: Can GERD or heartburn cause asthma?]
How To Run Faster With Asthma: 7 Safety Tips & Preventive Measures
Running with exercise-induced asthma is not an easy task to accomplish for all. However, if you are an athlete or are passionate about your running habit, you can actually do it.
There have been famous runners with asthma (like David Beckham, Tom Dolan, Paula Radcliffe, Peter Vanderkaay and many others) who have made world records in their running career.
Paula Radcliffe is, in fact, a personality who is known for running a marathon with asthma.
When they can do it, why can’t you?
7 Tips for Runners who Have Asthma
Here are few tips for you to follow; hopefully these can help you run fast again without letting your asthma affect any of your athletic activity.
1- Identify your limits: Running fast can be dangerous for asthmatics if they do not know their limits well.
It’s therefore recommended to start slow and try to accelerate your speed slowly as you get better control over your asthma and running conditions.
2- Avoid running in cold: Cold weather is the most obvious thing which can make your asthma conditions worse.
It is thus advisable to run indoors on your treadmill or try various other alternate exercises if the weather is not favorable for your conditions.
3- Warm-up and cool down slowly: Sudden intense changes while performing any activity can easily trigger your asthma symptoms to make the conditions worse.
You are therefore advised to begin slowly with a warmup (maybe by walking slowly first). And when you want to end your running start decreasing your speed slowly without stopping suddenly.
4- Carry your rescue inhaler: Your rescue inhaler is the foremost important thing which you should never forget to carry while going outdoors.
In case when you experience any asthma symptoms while running you can make use of it to overcome the situation easily.
5- Use asthma running mask: Wearing a protective mask for breathing is always advised while you run or exercise outdoors.
These masks for asthma not only helps in preventing cool air from entering your mouth but also protect you from getting exposed to possible allergy triggers like pollen, dust, smoke, etc.
6- Talk to your doctor: Before starting your exercises and running, it’s important to know your asthma action plan.
Do visit your doctor to know whether you are in a condition to run fast or not and what steps you need to take in case your asthma conditions get worse while/after running.
7- Run fast on rainy days: Rainy day is the best time of the month to run fast when you have asthma. Rainwater actually washes away most of asthma causing allergens from the air.
It is also found that pollen count is lowest after it rains. Therefore if there is heavy rain outside or when the weather is wet and cloudy, prepare yourself to enjoy the long run.