9 Tips on How to prevent Asthma from Spoiling Your Run
by: Jazon Enriquez-Roque
Running has always been known to be a simpler and an easier sport compared to other incarnations like basketball, football and the likes. Running requires you to simply kick and push yourself off of the ground.
But for people with asthma, like me, physical activities like running becomes much harder. Running becomes a struggle for every stride. But that doesn’t mean people with asthma can’t enjoy running!
Asthma is a disease that affects the lungs by making its bronchial airways narrow and inflamed causing edema and producing extra mucus. It usually triggered by certain allergens (dust mite pollens and even cockroaches!) and respiratory irritants (cigarette smoke, pollution and smog).
In the study, Prevalence of Asthma among Filipino Adults, around 10.7 Million Filipinos are suffering from asthma. This disease is purely hereditary, meaning one or both of your parents are carrying a gene imprinted with asthma on it. So much for a hereditary gifts, isn’t it?
Physical activities like running can also trigger or may trigger asthmatic flare. But regardless of that, exercises should not be stopped or avoided. In fact, it should be continued more! Aerobic exercises like running, can help a person’s cardiovascular system, make it stronger and lessen its sensitivity to its triggers.
To runners with asthma, here’s a simple way to prep up yourself for a run:
1. Eat Healthy
This is the first step on achieving a healthier body. You run because you want to be fit and healthy, right? So eat the right food.
Onions, garlic and mushrooms are said to be good for asthmatics. Don’t forget to take your vitamins too.
2. Listen to Your Body
Before every workout or race, ask yourself on how you feel. If you feel good, then go for a run. But if you feel your asthma can be triggered during your run then consider resting instead.
It’s easier to prevent asthma than to stop an ongoing asthmatic flare.
3. Plan Your Run, and Run Your Plan
Planning is the best way to prevent asthma. Planning the time of the day when to run can help you have a good workout. Test yourself and know when is the best time to run and keep a journal.
4. Warm up!
Our Body, like machines, needs time to warm up. Making sure you’re body is well prepared for a workout can reduce the possibility of an asthma attack.
Do stretches. Walk first then jog. Then go for a run after you feel you are ready for your workout. Also, hot but bearable to drink water works well to counter asthma.
5. Always Bring your Inhaler
Whether it’s for your maintenance or for emergency use, a runner with asthma should always have a rescue inhaler (like albuterol meter dose inhaler). A runner should use it 5 to 10 minutes before a run. And if an attack occurs during the run, the runner can use it again.
Echoing Obi-Wan’s advice to Anakin Skywalk pertaining to his lightsaber, don’t lose your inhaler because “this weapon is your life.”
6. Walk If You Must
If you feel that an asthmatic attack is about to occur, don’t be afraid to walk or rest. This will help your lungs relax and have a break, and this can normally solve the problem immediately.
7. Not Fast, but Furious
Sadly, fast paced running can induce asthma. If your asthma is triggered, aim for longer distances instead. But if it doesn’t, then continue running your pace.
Wanna run faster? Runners with asthma can solve this dilemma by adding interval training into their workout.
8. Beat Asthma!
Although running can’t outrun asthma, running can beat it. Running may trigger asthma, but in the end a runner can beat asthma by making their body healthier. So, why not take the extra mile?
9. Reward and Praise Yourself
You may not be able to leave asthma behind, but at least you can run farther away from it. So don’t let asthma define you. Don’t let it stop you from running and doing what you enjoy most. Don’t make it an excuse, rather as a motivation to do better.