When you exercise it's normal for your heart to beat faster and your breathing to be quicker. If you're doing vigorous activity you'll feel out of breath, hot and sweaty.
Make sure you can tell the difference between feeling out of breath through exercising, which is normal, and the symptoms of asthma. Then you can stop and take your reliever if you need to. Ask your doctor or nurse about what symptoms to look out for.
Remember, exercise won't harm your lungs. When you feel short of breath, it's a sign that your body is working harder. If you control your breathing you'll be able to keep going for longer.
When exercising it's normal if:
Stop exercising if you:
You're having an asthma attack if any of these happen:
Exercise can be a trigger for asthma. This can happen to anybody with asthma: children or adults, people who play sports or elite athletes.
It's not known exactly how exercise triggers asthma. When people exercise they breathe faster. This makes it more difficult for the nose and upper airways to warm up and add moisture to the air breathed in, so the air is drier and colder than usual. It's thought that this cold, dry air in the airways triggers the symptoms of asthma.
Asthma shouldn't stop you doing any type of exercise as long as you:
Factors that may trigger asthma when exercising include:
Activities that require short bursts of energy alternated with slower paced exercise are less likely to trigger asthma. These include:
Some people find that they have symtoms of asthma only when they exercise and not at any other time. This is unusual and affects only a small number of people. It is sometimes called exercise-induced asthma.
The symptoms are the same and include coughing, wheezing, chest tightness and difficulty in breathing. Symptoms usually begin after exercise and worsen about 15 minutes after exercise stops.
If you think you have asthma that comes on only when you exercise let your GP or asthma nurse know. To help you manage your asthma they may ask you to record some peak flow readings during and after exercise.
Asthma brought on by exercise is still treated the same, usually with preventer and reliever inhalers. The good news is that many top athletes have asthma and are still able to complete at a very high level.
For more information on asthma please click on http://www.asthma.org.uk/Default.aspx