If you think that asthma and running don’t go together, think again. Paula Radciffe, a marathon-record holder, or David Beckham, a renowned football player, are just some of the examples of world-class athletes with asthma that show you that it is possible to be an athlete and an asthmatic at the same time. If you follow these tips, you’ll be the king of the track in no time.
Take your medication
This is the best tip there is. When you experience an asthma attack, the muscles around your airways contract and you start coughing, wheezing and having difficulty breathing, but asthma meds relax the tense muscles and you can breathe again. Emergency meds, or in this case a rescue inhaler, will almost always relieve asthma symptoms in minutes. It can also be used as a preventive, so you can take it before a run to avoid symptoms. For chronic asthmatics, daily medication is the key.
What about pollen?
If you’re of the asthmatics who suffer from pollen allergies and they can trigger the symptoms, try checking a pollen counter before you go on a run outside. Choose the time of the day when the counter is at its lowest, like early in the morning, or pick a day with a low pollen count. Make sure to shed your running clothes as soon as you finish your run and have a nice bath to get rid of all the pollen that is stuck to your skin and in your hair. During the days with high pollen count, consider hitting a treadmill or opt for an activity that doesn’t leave you as breathless as running. Ever tried kayaking or tennis?
Protect your face
The perfect trigger for asthma is cold and dry air. It induces coughing even in people without asthma, because it makes your airways cold and dry and that calls for spasms of muscles around the airways. Experts and professional athletes recommend covering your mouth and nose, because it humidifies the air you breathe in. Opt for a balaclava made of fleece that will not end up covered in ice in the cold weather. Neck gaiters and balaclavas stay warm for a considerable time and don’t freeze on your face.
Don’t skip the warm-up
Don’t think that skipping warm-up will provide you with a more intense run, because you’re getting into it fresh and rested. Really, you can achieve the opposite. Getting your lungs warmed up can help you stay safe from an attack. The key is to induce a small attack, let it pass or control it with an inhaler, and then usually you will have the window of four to six hours to get a high quality run in before another attack. Try triggering it with short burst, but don’t use up all your energy. Remember, this is just a warm-up.
Be a step ahead of asthma
For a chronic asthmatic, the most important thing is to take their prescribed meds regularly. Don’t skip on you therapy just because it’s boring and complicated, and you have to push through. Products like Resmed Airsense 10 Elite can make you relax after a workout and give you a good night of sleep, which is crucial for asthma. Also, have your emergency inhaler always with you. For this there is no excuse; emergency inhalers are small and easy to use in case of an attack. Another good idea is to have an emergency plan. Check with your physician what you should do when you get an attack while running, and then go by the book. You can also get a medical alert bracelet that can help people around you provide you with the right type of care.
Don’t let a petty little thing like asthma stop you from living your best life. As long as you take your meds, check up on your lungs regularly and avoid triggers, you will lead a healthy and normal life, full of different activities and exercise. If you notice some changes in the frequency and triggers of your asthma attacks, consult with your physician and together you will be back on track in no time.