Training/Running with Lung Health in Mind
Brandy Drennan, RN, BSN, AE-C; Asthma & COPD Care Coordinator; Kaiser Permanente East & Smoky Hill Medical Offices
Here comes the sun, yay! Oh yeah, that means it’s time to train for the Colfax Marathon. Whether you’re training for a shorter relay distance or the whole 26.2, asthma and allergies can make this time of year difficult to train outdoors. Since allergens can be a trigger for asthma and other sinus issues, it’s important to pay attention to treating and pre-treating consistently, to maximize your training efforts and achieve your goals. Below are some quick tips on what we as Asthma Care Coordinators and Allergy and Immunology Specialists are recommending to our patients, and to each other!
Simple Tips for running/walking/training with asthma and/or allergies:
- Treat nasal symptoms with a daily inhaled nasal steroid
- Take an over the counter antihistamine at least an hour prior to outdoor training to control allergies
- Remain consistent on your prescribed dose of inhaled corticosteroid or “controller” inhaler to reduce inflammation and reactivity inside the airways
- Don’t wait for symptoms to occur while running. Pre-treat with 2 puffs of Albuterol 15-20 minutes prior to workout, to help avoid symptoms during your workout
- Do a longer “warm-up” at the beginning of your workout, to avoid triggering exercise induced symptoms, along with a nice “cool down” period at the end of your workout.
- Sinus rinses after an outdoor training session can also help to rid the nasal passages and sinuses of any additional pollens or allergens that may cause symptoms
- On high pollution days, or in the event of a wildfire or other smoke exposure events, it’s best to consider an indoor training day, to avoid irritation and inflammation to your lungs, that can keep you out of the game for longer. Try an elliptical or treadmill to keep your cardio up, without risking the health of your lungs.
If you frequently have a cough or wheeze with exercise, which does not go away when you relax for several minutes, consider seeing your doctor regarding exercise induced asthma. Staying indoors during allergy season does not have to be your only option as long as you take the precautions your doctor suggests. Remember that you can still be active, and are encouraged to do so, even with asthma and/or allergies.