What You Need To Know About Exercise Induced Asthma

woman doctor

We all like to push our limits and challenge our bodies during a workout. While the old saying of, "no pain, no gain" may be heard less and less these days, we are still told to push pass our comfort zone in order to achieve results. However, if you're exercising and feel out of breath sooner than you should, have fits of coughing or find yourself wheezing, the cause may be more than just your workout routine.

You could be suffering from exercise induced asthma. Unlike traditional asthma, with exercise induced asthma, the physical exertions of the workout is causing your airways to tighten and produce extra mucus. Exercise induced asthma can feel like it's crushing your fitness dreams, but just because you have to take extra precautions doesn't mean you can't still get your workouts in. By following these steps , you can finally get back into your routine and on with your fitness goals!

woman running outside in the morning

As with any medical condition, if you are feeling that your body just ins't operating as it should you need see your doctor right away for proper diagnosis. Serious asthma attacks can be life threatening, so it's better to be safe than sorry. When you are preparing to see your doctor, be sure to write down your symptoms so you can easily explain what's going on. It's also a good idea to write down any questions you might have for your doctor so you don't forget to ask.

According to the Mayo Clinic, your doctor is likely to ask you about the details of your symptoms such as when the symptoms occur, how often and what seems to trigger them. He or she may also ask about family history of certain illnesses and will then run tests accordingly. It is likely that your doctor will do an allergy test as well as lung function tests so he or she can rule out any alternate causes such as poor fitness levels, lung disorders, heart disease and allergies.

doctor looking at xrays

If you do receive a diagnosis of exercise induced asthma, you may be prescribed a quick-relief medication, such as an inhaler. Typically speaking, these inhalers are enough to reduce the symptoms of exercise induced asthma and most sufferers no longer have issues. If you find that you need to use this inhaler more often than recommended by your doctor, there may be a need for a long-term medication.


To prevent flare ups, there are a few steps you can take before exercising:

  • Make sure you complete a good 10-minute warm up before increasing the intensity of your workout. This will help to prepare your body for what's to come and allow your lungs to slowly adjust.
  • If you have a cold or a respiratory infection, avoid strenuous exercise until you have healed completely.
  • Avoid exercising outdoors, particularly on days when there is a high pollen count.

Although you must be cautious when suffering from exercise induced asthma, you should not be using it as an excuse to avoid regular workouts. With proper medical diagnosis and treatment, there should be no stopping you from living a healthy and active lifestyle.