Health

How to Manage Asthma While Running

Debunking Myths on Running

something that one has to prepare for since this respiratory condition causes troubles in breathing.

Running or joining marathons when you’re asthmatic may seem like an impossible task; but Paula Radcliffe, who was diagnosed with asthma since she was 14 years old, became a world record holder for the women’s marathon.

However, even if it is possible for someone with asthma to start running or even join running events, sufficient preparation is necessary to ensure safety. If you’re suffering from asthma and you are planning to run, here are some helpful tips you can use:

First of all, you must consult your doctor. Seek professional advice to find out the severity of your condition, the level of running intensity your body can sustain, and for you to know what medication you would need in the event you face asthma attacks.

It is wiser to take asthma medications prior to running as a preventative measure. Asthma medications will relax your airways to help you breathe comfortably as you run.

Bring emergency medication, cell phone, inhaler, and water with you. Meds, mobile phone, and inhaler will come in handy in case you get asthma attacks while running. Water will help you hydrate and will prevent your throat from getting dry – and having a dry throat is one of the most common scenarios that cause asthma attacks.

Warming up before running is important, too. You have to prepare your lungs for what’s to come and you can do so by warming up. You can alternate walking and jogging so your lungs may adjust to the exercise much easier. Don’t skip your warm up just because you’re planning to save your lung energy and use it in the actual run as suddenly running at full speed may definitely trigger an asthma attack.

Pollen and cold air set off asthma attacks so you have to do your best to avoid them. Protect your nose and mouth from taking in cold air when you run. You may also want to schedule your runs at the time of day when the pollen count is at its lowest. Additionally, take a shower after running to ensure that there are no pollens stuck in your hair. Remove your running clothes immediately as you arrive home.

If you have a running buddy, make sure that the person knows of your condition so they can adjust accordingly. Some runners who may not be aware of your condition are likely to run their normal, fast speeds; and it is probable that you would want to keep up with their running speed that you push yourself past your limits.

Cooling down is as important as warming up. Don’t stop so suddenly when you’re done running. Allow your lungs to adjust and relax gradually. It’s best to transition to a slower running pace little by little.

Running with asthma can be challenging, especially at first, but it is possible and manageable. Just keep in mind to be prepared before trying it. Don’t let asthma stop you and you will discover how enjoyable running can be.

16 May 2016

Should You Run While You Are Sick?

How to Deal with Post-Running Pains

Runners preparing for competitions undergo intensive training for months. This training usually follows a strict schedule which runners adhere to. Still, even runners aren’t invincible; everyone is at risk of getting sick anytime. It’s understandable why some runners insist on practicing or running in preparation for competitions even when they’re not feeling well—they don’t want to miss a day’s practice or miss an opportunity to run because it may affect their overall progress.

However, is it really safe to run while you’re feeling sick? Will missing a day or two in running really impact your running performance?

Some runners follow the ‘neck rule’ in deciding whether or not to run when they’re ill. The ‘neck rule’ dictates that if your sickness is only affecting body parts above your neck—when you’re just experiencing headaches, stuffy or runny nose, then it shouldn’t stop you from running. On the other hand, when you’re experiencing pains below your neck (severe sore throat, chest pains, muscle aches, etc.), you should skip running. This rule is also followed by David Nieman, Ph.D., head of the Human Performance Laboratory at Appalachian State University. Dr. Nieman is an experienced runner himself, and has joined 58 marathons and ultra marathons. Moreover, a research led by Tom Weidner, Ph.D., director of Athletic Training Research at Ball State University, found out that running does not worsen the condition of people with colds, as long as runners with colds don’t push themselves beyond their limits. Additionally, running when you’re suffering from colds can actually make you feel better because the exercise helps clear out nasal passages due to the adrenaline released when running.

However, you should always be cautious when you opt to run while sick. Don’t expect your performance to be as great as it was when you’re feeling well. Be extra aware of how your body feels and decide carefully if you really can run despite your illness.

If you have a fever, it is wiser to skip running. Take as many days off as you need to recover. Running with high fever may lead to complications and will just delay your body’s recovery. A day or two without training won’t hurt your running performance, and if recovery takes longer than that, you can always work on getting your performance back. A study conducted by Elizabeth Ready and Arthur Quinney proposes that for it won’t take long for athletes or runners to get back to their initial fitness.

Once you get enough rest and feel an improvement on how you feel, it’s normal that one of your priorities would be to get back to running. Take it easy and give your body time to adjust. You may start running at a moderate pace with short distances.

Getting sick is normal for both runners and non-runners. Sure, you want to take care of your progress in running—just don’t forget to protect yourself as well.

23 Apr 2016

The Benefits Of Running For Your Heart

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Whilst it should be obvious that exercise is good for your health there is some research to suggest that it is possible to overdo it. Some studies have found that long term endurance athletes can be at an increased risk of abnormal heartbeats and even of scarring of the heart muscle.

Having said that the actual number of runners having a heart attack whilst doing a marathon is extremely small which would suggest the strain on the heart is not excessive.

The study performed by the University of Hartford contained 42 runners along with their spouses with ages ranging from 33 to 59. Their spouses were much less active often performing less than two sessions of moderate exercise each week with many not doing any formal exercise at all.

It was found that the marathon runners were thinner than their spouses although few of those spouses were actually overweight. The runners also had better indicators of cardiac health such as lower blood pressure, heart rates and lower bad cholesterol levels. It was found that marathon training did not cancel out long term bad health habits or a family history of cardiac problems.

The researchers found no correlation between the number of hours trained and the levels of plaque in their arteries. This suggests that marathon training does not directly damage the heart.

The overall findings of the study suggests that frequent endurance exercise will likely not hurt your heart and will most likely strengthen it. The most surprising finding was that the spouses were relatively healthy. This is likely due to them sharing certain aspects of their healthy lifestyle leading them to moving around more frequently.

13 Jun 2015

Running Just 5 Minutes a Day Will Provide You With Long-Lasting Benefits For Your Health

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According to a recent study on exercise and mortality, running just 5 minutes a day will significantly lower the risk of dying prematurely. The results of the study suggest that the health benefits from just a small amount of exercise are much larger than previously thought by experts.

Moderate forms of exercise such as brisk walking has been a common exercise recommendation in recent history with the government’s formal 2008 exercise guideline recommending that people should perform 30 minutes of moderate exercise on the majority of days during the week.
Research on that number has been lacking with very studies fully investigating the effects of vigorous exercise on disease risk and lifespan and ever fewer studies looking at the amount of exercise required to achieve the same result.

From the recent study it was found that runners had a 30 percent lower risk of dying from any causes when compared with non runners with their risk of dying from heart disease was 45 percent lower. This was even the case when the results were adjusted to take into account individuals who were overweight or smokers. It was even found that overweight smokers who ran were less likely to die early in comparison to those who did not run no matter their smoking preferences or weight.

On the whole, runners were expected to live 3 years longer on average when compared to adults who did not run.

Interestingly the benefits of running were fairly similar no matter how much or little people ran. Whilst people who ran for more than 150 minutes a week lived longer than those who didn’t run; they didn’t live significantly longer than those who ran as little as 5 minutes a day.

The study did find that overall, runners had a smaller risk of dying when compared with people who performed moderate exercise such as walking. The researchers further stressed that it’s not running specifically that is giving these health benefits and that it is likely exercise intensity which is the key to improving longevity. So if you don’t like to run that you can substitute it with vigorously pedaling a stationary bike or another strenuous exercise of your preference.

12 Jun 2015