I have been doing a lot more cardio training recently compared to the past 6 months and I’ve been suffering from these very hacking, dry coughing fits in the middle of or after the end of my workouts that last for hours. Even this morning my chest still feels a little tight and like I need to cough, and that is from last night. I’m sure its related to the dry air where I live (I’m not sick and I’m not a smoker), but I was wondering if the research team had any suggestions?
1. How much cardio are you doing and how little were you doing?
I am going to give you some insight into what might be causing your coughing, chest pain and discomfort. But it is up to you to figure out why YOU have these issues in order to individualize WHY and WHAT to do to treat it.
1. If you are doing more cardio than you have in the past, how much more are you doing? Are you doing too much? How long are you doing it? If you are doing more cardio, doing it for a much long time, doing it more times per week, etc, you may be putting your body into a increase stressed (sympathetic) state.
Most people get to bed late, up early, eat little to no breakfast, have a coffee, eat a high carb lunch, drink more coffee and eat more carb snacks all day and then go to work out. So, you are already in a sympathetic state and then you add to it by doing more cardio than you have in the past. This just adds more fuel to the fire and puts you deeper into a catabolic (tissue breakdown) state. My first insight would be to try to work on the above principles of sleep, hydration, food quality and quantity, and the right amount of movement. Try cutting back on the amount of time you are doing cardio and the number of days. Start simple and see if cutting back helps
2. It sounds like you might have some sort of respiration issues, such as exercise-induced asthma. This can happen from the below:
3. Most Americans have chronic inflammation going on inside their body. This happens from eating a diet too high in carbs and/or sugar, eating conventional grain fed meats, which are higher in bad fats and Omega 6 EFA’s, from taking over the counter or Rx meds, from chronic emotional/physical and financial stress. The body reacts to these is the same way. But the main important one to focus on is the Omega 6 to Omega 3 EFA ratio. Each time we eat them, if there is an imbalance, this triggers the immune system to release one or the other, or both from the cell membrane.
We will keep it simple, Omega 3 EFA’s release anti-inflammatory leukotrines (which relax the airways, blood vessels and increase circulation) prostaglandins PG 3 and PG1 (which improve circulation, relax the blood vessels, relax muscle spasms, and reduce blood clotting). Omega 6 EFA’s release leukotrines (which constrict the airways, promote inflammation), thromboxane (which constricts the blood vessels and airways, increases clotting and reduces circulation) and prostaglandin PG2 (which increases swelling, clotting and fever). So to make a long story short, you can eliminate grain fed meats from your diet, increase the amount of Omega 3 EFA’s through supplementation and/or do the Fatty Acid Profile lab through Metametrix to find out exactly what your ratios are. Click on this link to watch a 15 min clip on Essential Fatty Acids:
4. “It has been recognized that asthmatics have an increase in histamine content of their lung tissue and that is the histamine that regulates bronchial muscle contractions (Batmangheligdji, 115). Dehydration is one of the many major stressors that we can inflict upon our body. I would have to say that 100% of the clients that walk through my door are dehydrated. As well, when they start drinking the recommended amount of half your body weight in ounces of water a day (1), most of their aches and pains are alleviated. When we are dehydrated, the body releases more histamine to regulate who and what gets water and where it goes. When you are short of breath, the histamine is causing vasoconstriction in the lungs preserving water for the lungs. When we breathe, water is evaporated in the lungs. But when there is an increase in histamine, there is constriction and less water evaporation, which is a natural conservation of the body’s water. So if you have asthma, have a client with asthma, or know anyone with this disorder, one of my first recommendations is to drink water!
For more information on the benefits of water and its hidden secrets, read:
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1. F. Batmangheligji, M.D. Your Body’s Many Cries for Water. Second edition. Global Health Systems, Inc. 1997