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Exercise Induced Asthma And A Preventative Approach While Exercising

Sep 10, 2008
Exercise Induced Asthma is asthma that only happens when a person is exercising. Roughly five to twenty percent of the general population report exercise induced asthma. When first exercising, those who struggle with exercise induced asthma, everything seems to be normal, but within 5 to 10 minutes the typical symptoms of asthma begin to appear, wheezing, breathlessness, and tightness of the chest. They may also feel very tired as well. They symptoms continue to worsen as they continue to exercise.

Patients usually have airways that are more sensitive to changes of humidity and temperature. The nose has a temperature and humidity control mechanism that usually makes air humid at body temperature. Usually during rest we are breathing through our nose. When we exercise, we usually breath through our mouth, our respiration becomes rapid. This leads dry-cold air into the airways causing the airway muscles to stiffen and contract and also causing inflammation which results in the narrowing of the airways.

It is recommended for those who suffer from exercise induced asthma to go through a longer warm up activity instead of just jumping into an exercise. Prevention is always the most effective way to manage any asthma attack. Once the airway has contracted, only fifty percent of patients will experience relief.

Patients need to be involved in activities that will help them increase their heart rate such as jogging, biking, and jumping jacks. These simple-effective exercises can help prevent exercise-induced asthma. A 10-15 minute warm up exercise is highly recommended followed by an increase in the capillary flow. Doing this hydrates and warms the airway.

Another great technique to reduce exercise induced asthma is pursed-lip breathing. This involves inhaling through your nose followed by exhaling through your pursed lips while producing a slow, blowing-like action for about four seconds. This becomes very effective because it helps slow the heart rate creating a back pressure to the airway that forces oxygen back into the bloodstream.

To alleviate common breathing problems, a good solution would be to strengthen specific muscle groups in the shoulders, neck, and chest. You must have strong muscles in these areas as well to learn how to do muscle relaxation exercises. Often times those that are struggling with exercise induced asthma need to sit down one on one with a specialist to help them form a more personalized solution to their struggles. They can also create a special exercise program for your needs.
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