Exercise Induced Asthma- it can be managed
Exercising can be fun and enjoyable, but it can also be stressful. The breath plays a major roll in how exercise influences the human body. Running or cycling can be followed by a coughing fit, wheezing, tightness in the chest, and a feeling of not getting enough air. It is not usually the legs or muscles that give problems during sports performance, it can also be one’s breath.
Exercising in cold, night air, especially in winter, can make breathing difficult also.
Exercise Induced Asthma is experienced every day of the year in running clubs, gyms and sports events all over the world. In fact under routine screening of UK Olympic athletes before the Athens Olympics it was discovered that 21% of the British Olympic team had Asthma, this figure is double the rate of the average population. So even top athletes know what it feels like to have difficulties with their breathing during exercise.
It does not always follow that fitness levels and good breathing habits go hand in hand, as is documented in the example of the Olympic Athletes. Many of us train very hard to get fit but never or rarely breathe comfortably during exercise. Training is then a lot more stressful than it needs to be. But by learning to breathe differently exercising can be relaxing and invigorating.
There are simple ways we can help ourselves today if Exercise Induced Asthma holds us back.
(a) Pay attention to how we are breathing during the day. Try to calm and reduce the volume of air that we breathe. If we are watching T.V for example and we can hear our breathing this is a sign that we are breathing too much. Healthy breathing is calm, quiet, effortless and relaxed. Always breathe through the nose.
(b) Switch to breathing through our nose only during exercise. This may involve slowing down at first but exercise becomes much more enjoyable and in the long term we will be able to go faster. Let the nose be your guide when it comes to the speed of our run, cycle or workout. If we feel like we need to switch to mouth breathing we are going too fast! Maybe start with a daily walk with mouth closed then build it up to walk/jog.
Slowing down in the short term will help us get faster in the long term, without losing control of our breathing.
Making these two changes will begin the process of managing Exercise Induced Asthma. These changes are part of a training programme I will be teaching to anyone with breathing issues such as Exercise Induced Asthma or sportspeople who wish to improve their sports performance. As a trainer in The Oxygen Advantage Training Programme I look forward to helping anyone whose breathing lets them down when they exercise. Don’t let your breath hold you back!
For more information call me on 087 7738616 or see my website yourbreath.ie or oxygenadvantage.com ( for information on sports performance) I give courses in Ballincollig, Cork City and Bantry.
Your breath is within your control,
Best Wishes, Brian.