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Don't Let Asthma Stop You

Categories: Exercise, Health

Don’t Let Your Asthma Stop You

I was diagnosed with asthma as a teenager. I was so active and playing sports daily, I couldn’t understand why I was getting out of breath so easily and struggling to recover compared to the rest of my team mates.

It took a while for me to get an asthma diagnosis, but eventually it happened and I have exercise induced asthma.

Now it wasn’t an easy path to getting the right combination of inhalers and it took a lot of experimenting on different types before it was well managed. Even when we had it right, and I was well warmed up for football matches when I was playing I knew at some point in the game I’d need to stop to take my inhaler.

It was very scary at the start, but my team mates and coaches were used to it and always had my inhaler ready to run on.

Although I’m not playing 90 minutes on a football pitch anymore and  going gym based strength work it is unlikely to affect me, I know if I was too push myself cardiovascularly it would likely affect me. I find the cold weather, and illnesses affect me more now and are likely to cause problems. 

I didn’t let it stop me and you shouldn’t too.

What is asthma?

Asthma is an inflammation of the small tubes that carry air in and out of the lungs. When these airways become irritated the muscles around them tighten and narrow with a sticky mucus on them. This is what makes it harder to breathe.

Medication to take?

There are some many preventer and reliever inhalers out there, as well as steroid tablets depending on the severity of your asthma. Make sure you have a thorough consultation with your GP and Asthma Nurse to check you’re on the right combination for you.

What can you do to help?

Have a good understanding of you asthma triggers so you can take preventative measures. By keeping a diary of when your symptoms are worse or when you have an attack, you’ll start to see patterns emerging and then you can put things in place.

Look at your food and drink consumption, I always found after I’d had alcohol the next day my chest would feel tighter and would take me longer to settle into training.

If you feel like you might be having an asthma attack, stop and take your reliever inhaler. Rest before you’re ready to carry on.

You might need a longer warm up than others to prepare your airways for what is about to happen.

If the cold weather affects you, wear a buff or snood to cover your mouth, it can make breathing easier and less painful.

Lastly always carry your inhaler with you, you never know when you might need it.