Asthma is a condition that makes it hard to breath after periods of strenuous activity. Ironically, one way to overcome or control asthma symptoms is to increase your level of physical activity. Here are some ways that you can manage or overcome your symptoms if you want to be a runner despite having this condition.
Keep Your Fast Acting Inhaler Handy
Most people who have asthma should have medication handy that can help to open the airways and put a stop to a sudden asthma attack. Whenever you are going for a run, it is important that you have your inhaler in your pocket or in a place where you can easily access it. You may also want to have a cell phone with you in case you need to call 911 or need someone to bring your inhaler to you.
Go Through Respiratory Therapy
Your doctor may be able to prescribe a regiment of breathing exercises or other activities designed to increase your lung capacity. In some cases, you may be referred to a specialist who can work with you to overcome your asthma symptoms. He or she should have been certified at a university or a respiratory therapy online bachelor program so make sure that you check for certification before allowing yourself to be given any treatment. As part of the program, you may be hooked up to machines while you exercise to determine the exact scope of the problem and create a targeted plan to control it.
Be Aware of Your Triggers
Whether you have asthma or not, it can be harder to breathe in the winter months or whenever it is cold outside. Therefore, it may be a good idea to exercise indoors in a climate that is better suited to your lungs. It may also be a good idea to exercise indoors during the spring or summer months when pollen may be out in force.
Don't Overdo It
Those who have asthma need to know their limits when beginning an exercise program. There is no shame in only being able to run for a few minutes or only do a lap or two around the track. Ideally, you will build up to running multiple laps around the track or running a road race. This will help your body adjust to the extra demands that you are placing on it and allow you to reach your full potential in a safe manner.
Having asthma does not need to put an end to running career. All it means is that you will need to work with your doctor to create a training regimen that is safe and allows you to run without pushing your body too far.
This feature was written by Hannah Whittenly. Hannah is a freelance writer and mother of two from Sacramento, CA. She enjoys kayaking and reading books by the lake. Follow her on Twitter here!