(CARLSBAD, CA) – Having difficulty breathing? Feeling chest pains and breathlessness? You may be experiencing asthma, and you don’t even know it. By 2020, one in every five American families will be affected by asthma, according to the American Lung Association.
Since it affects almost 20 percent of our population, asthma definitely gets its fair share of media attention. Yet, one of the lesser-known forms of this health malady is exercise-induced asthma. This form of asthma actually occurs due to exertion in physical exercise. Check-out this FAQ guide to learn if your signs and symptoms match-up to those of exercise-induced asthma.
1. What is exercise-induced asthma?
Exercise-induced asthma occurs with inflammation of your bronchial tubes, which are the air pathways of your lungs. Bronchial wall muscles tighten, and then cells in the lungs produce excess mucus. This makes the passageways even narrower. Coughing, wheezing, and difficulty breathing are the results.
2. Who gets exercise-induced asthma?
Anyone can get exercise-induced asthma, regardless of age, gender, nationality, or physical fitness level. However, there are some factors that increase a person’s risk. Family history of asthma, exposure to secondhand smoke and other air pollutants, obesity, low birth weight, and gastro esophageal reflux disease increase the probability for exercise-induced asthma.
3. What triggers it?
Aerobic exercise, such as running or cycling, is the most likely trigger for exercise-induced asthma. Certain environmental factors can also increase the likelihood of such an asthma attack. Cold weather, dry air, high pollen counts, and air pollution are conditions cited by the Mayo Clinic that can bring on an asthma attack. Additionally, if you are out of shape or have a respiratory infection, such as a cold, then you’re more likely to suffer from exercise-induced asthma.
4. How do I know if I have it?
If you wheeze, cough, experience chest pains and breathlessness during exercise, don’t automatically assume that it’s because you’re out of shape. It’s possible that you have exercise-induced asthma. These signs will generally occur within the first five to 15 minutes of exercise, although they can onset later in your workout. Extreme fatigue and a prolonged recovery time after exercise are additional warning signals. If you think that you may have exercise-induced asthma, see your doctor for a proper diagnosis. Even if you don’t have asthma, it’s possible that your symptoms are caused by another health condition that needs medical attention.
5. How can I prevent or treat exercise-induced asthma?
First and foremost, always follow the advice of your doctor. From there, Jazzercise Founder and CEO Judi Sheppard Missett suggests a proper warm-up and cool-down period for at least ten minutes before and after exercise. Avoid exercising outdoors when the temperature is extremely cold or when pollen levels are high. Learn to recognize the early signs that an asthma attack is coming on, so that you can adjust your workout to a mild pace when needed.
Jazzercise, created by Judi Sheppard Missett, is the world's leading dance-fitness program with more than 7,500 instructors teaching 32,000 classes weekly in the U.S. and around the globe. Since 1969, millions of people of all ages and fitness levels have reaped the benefits of this comprehensive program, designed to enhance cardiovascular endurance, strength, and flexibility. For more information on Jazzercise go to jazzercise.com or call (800)FIT-IS-IT or (760)476-1750.