How to manage Exercise Induced Asthma?

As the name suggests Exercise-Induced Asthma (EIA) is asthma that is caused by doing vigorous exercise.

It is believed that cold and dry air inhaled during exercise triggers an allergic response which can cause bronchospasm. Exercise-induced asthma is characterized by vigorous coughing, wheezing, mucus production and general shortness of breath. The symptoms generally begin within 5 to 10 minutes starting of exercise, or 5 to 10 minutes after stopping the exercise. Always consult your doctor before starting any fitness program.

Tips to Prevent and Treat Exercise-Induced Asthma

  • Before beginning an exercise program, you should consult your physician.
  • You should always have your broncho-dilating inhaler with you. Use it as prescribed by your doctor.
  • Avoid your outdoor physical exercises during peak pollen count season or if air pollution levels are above appropriate limits. You should always avoid doing exercise when the air is dry inside or outside.
  • Start your session with warm-up exercises. Drink lot of fluids during the session. End your exercise by doing cool down exercises.
  • Divide your exercise session into multiple smaller sessions with 2-5 minute breaks in between them.
  • If the air outside is cold or dry wear exercise masks. The exercise masks help in keeping the air warm and moist.
  • Consult with your doctor and know your training zones. People with asthma should keep their exertion level in Zone 1 and 2.
  • As a general rule of thumb, avoid doing exercise in humid, cold or dry weather conditions.