Some clients have Exercise-induced Bronchospasm, which is also known as exercise-induced asthma. In fact I have a daughter who has this very problem! It happens to many people of all ages where exercise can trigger an asthmatic response in which the airways transiently and reversibly narrow. This will cause the coughing, the shortness of breathe and tightness of the chest. Most people relate to it as wheezing and losing the endurance of your exercise. In the case of my daughter, she appeared very healthy with no history of asthma but discovered it on day taking a spinning class that challenged her so much it triggered a huge attack.
The current research and consensus say those with EIB should be encouraged to exercise regularly. It may not decrease the attacks, but aerobic conditioning will decrease the attacks due to the ventilaroty requirement for any exercise workout. Those that do have this should be involved with an aerobic program at least 3-4 times per week at a very comfortable intensity for a minimum of 20 minutes. And use the rate of perceived exertion to monitor the intensity.
Flexibility should be used for these clients as well, as it promotes relaxation and improves lung function.Strength training should be used with caution and avoid lifting heavy weight, in other words follow the standard resistance-training recommendations.
However, there could be possible environmental triggers as well if it keeps persisting. Those triggers could be low humidity, dry air, pollution, pollens or other contaminants. But we have found that many positive factors concerning the environment is a warm, humid environment year round. Walking, biking and hiking are better than other things to trigger her EIB.
Now, if you happen to have an attack during your exercise, the best thing to do during it’s occurance is to immediately reduce exercise intensity so that you can administer your inhaler or the action plan you have set up for yourself. Do NOT try to get through the attack or stop abruptly. Both are not the best solution. Take deep breaths in through the nose and extend through the belly, then out through the mouth and drawing in the belly.
Now since my daughter has this problem regularly, she uses her inhaler prior to her exercise, at least 20-30 minutes. You may want to try this as well.
EIB is a highly preventalbe and treatable condition that will even affect the most prominant athletes. With treatment and appropriate precautions your exercise program can and will be successful, even in the most strenuous of activities.
However, if the symptoms continue to persist, make sure you get with your doctor.