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It's happening again. After about 10 minutes of intense activity in your workout, you feel your chest tighten and you begin coughing uncontrollably. If this describes you, you're likely one of the millions who suffer from exercise-induced asthma (EIA). The good news is that physical activity can and should remain an integral part of your active life.

According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, ( approximately 7 percent of Americans suffer from asthma, and an additional 11 percent experience the symptoms of asthma before or during exercise. The symptoms of EIA accompany exercise and may include the following:

• Breathing difficulty

• Wheezing

• Chest tightness

• Coughing

• Chest pain

• Prolonged shortness of breath

Symptoms of exercise-induced asthma are triggered when sudden or extreme changes of the temperature and humidity aggravate oversensitive airways, and people with EIA are especially susceptible to cold, dry air. During exercise or any strenuous activity, most people tend to breathe more through their mouths than through their noses. While nose-breathing heats and humidifies outside air, mouth-breathing allows the colder, drier air to go straight to the airways, provoking an asthma attack. If you have EIA, use these tips from the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology ( to get the most out of your workout.

Before beginning any exercise routine, talk to your provider about your condition. Need a physician? Visit today to find a provider near you. As a member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network, Northwest Health providers have special access to Mayo Clinic's knowledge, resources and expertise. And you get exactly the care you need, right here at home.

Your provider may recommend activities or medications that can help prevent an attack.

• Start your exercise routine with a clear nose. Prescription and over-the-counter medications, antihistamines, decongestants, and nasal sprays can help clear nasal passages.

• Many people with EIA can exercise outdoors with little or no problem. However, you may want to consider indoor activity if the weather is cold or windy or if pollen counts are high.

• During indoor exercise, avoid open windows and doors. Use a mat when exercising on the carpet to prevent allergic reactions to dust mites and animal dander.

Staying active

Don't let a diagnosis of asthma inhibit your active life. Exercise is an integral part of a healthy lifestyle for everyone, and people with asthma are no exception. In fact, many leading athletes including Olympic gold medalist Jackie Joyner-Kersee continue with their sports long after their condition has been identified. Appropriate exercise can actually help manage asthmatic symptoms. Activities that include bursts of activity followed by short rests are ideal for people with asthma, though most forms of exercise can be enjoyed with proper training. Here are some ideas of types of exercise enjoyed by many people with asthma.

• Aerobics (low impact)

• Doubles tennis

• Pool swimming

• Walking

• Weight training

• Wrestling.

General News on 05/29/2019

Print Headline: Exercise-induced asthma and your routine

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