Sometimes difficulty breathing when you run can be a symptom of an underlying condition. Research shows that one in eleven people in the UK live with asthma. A small number have exercise-induced asthma – they only experience symptoms, such as tightness in the chest, wheezing, difficulty breathing, and/or dry cough, when they exercise.
When you work out and breathe faster it’s more difficult for the nose and upper airways to warm up and moisturize the air breathed in. This colder and drier air is thought to trigger asthma. Asthmatics have to make sure they’re not over breathing or hyperventilating by mouth breathing. It’s vital to learn how to breathe simultaneously through the mouth and nose.
Running outdoors on cold days increases the possibility of exercise triggering your asthma. During aerobic activity you may inhale more cold air and breathe it more deeply into your lungs. Having asthma doesn’t have to stop you running. Regular exercise helps improve lung function and relief of asthma symptoms.
Manage your asthma by receiving the three elements of basic asthma care: an annual review, a written asthma action plan and having your inhaler technique checked. Also, gradually increase the amount of exercise you do and the level of intensity.