Exercise Induced Asthma is typically characterized as an allergic reaction of the airways to the cool, dry air inhaled during exercise. This subject is one that hits close to home as my 5 year old son was diagnosed with it in a roundabout way. I use the term “roundabout” loosely after visiting countless doctors, allergists, and ear, nose and throat specialists. Most doctors "prefer not to label people, especially children with any form of asthma, as they can outgrow it.”
For starters, over the past few years I have met multiple doctors that disagree with this, as they feel the symptoms can lie dormant and come back at any time. I have a client who as a young girl had asthma, then had no symptoms for over thirty years. Wouldn't you know that after being in the best shape of her life, running, teaching jui jitsu and weight training, she started having full blown symptoms again.
Another thing I find amusing is that doctors don't want to label people asthmatic, yet they all prescribe drugs like Albuterol, Pulmicort and various inhalers and nebulizers which specifically treat asthma.
The ironic part is that when done properly, exercise can actually reduce the amount of treatment needed for exercise-induced asthma, as well as the frequency of asthmatic attacks.
Below are some basic training tips for people with exercise-induced asthma:
Always use asthma medication i.e. pills or inhalers before you work out
Make sure to take at least 10 minutes to warm up before your workout and 10 minutes to cool down after your workout
Try to work out in controlled environments such as gyms or studios and avoid certain grasses and pollens that can be found during outdoor training
Here are some vitamins and foods that have been found to have positive effects on people diagnosed with asthma:
Omega 3 Fatty Acids Such As:
Olive Oil, ThinFat, Salmon, and Other Oily Fish
Vitamin C Foods Such As:
Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cranberries, Lemons, Oranges, Papaya, Pepper, Pineapple and Strawberries
Nutrients Such As:
Magnesium and Selenium
Items Containing Anti Oxidants Such As:
Almonds, Blueberries, Mustard Greens & Turnip Greens
Herbs Such As:
Rosemary, Sage, Oregano - these contain rosmarinic acid, which has been shown to block the production of pro- inflammatory chemicals, like leukotrienes.
Lastly, if you are exercising and experience asthma symptoms stop immediately and take your inhaler. If the symptoms do not subside contact a doctor.
"Exercise-Induced Asthma." WebMD. WebMD, n.d. Web.
Please consult your physician before staring any exercise regimen. The information presented in this article is in no way intended as medical advice or as a substitute for medical treatment.