Boxing with your breath.
The last few weeks have been a challenge. Same workout, and perhaps even a touch more pep, but … the breath’s just not been there.
It started about a month ago on one of the first really hot days when the air was close and filled with ozone, pollen and a bunch of other junk. The work out was fine, but as I went to hit the speed bag, I just had to stop because it felt as if I’d run out of air. After it happened the third time — bouts of breathless with lots of coughing and a healthy dose of phlegm — I got kind of concerned and like any good hypochondriac immediately hit the web to search on “breathless and exercise”.
It turns out there is a condition called Exercise Induced Asthma or EIA that seems to fit with triggers that include rigorous exercise, high pollutants/pollen/molds/dust, or cold, dry air, mouth breathing, cold or flu that can cause coughing, phlegm, tightness in the chest, and in some cases wheezing.
I’m not sure if this is what I actually have (I’ll be checking it out next week), but if you are experiencing problems with your breathing there are tests you can take to see if in fact the issues are related to an asthma condition, even if you’ve never exhibited the condition before. These tests include “challenge” exams where the patient runs or performs other rigorous exercises for a 3 – 5 minutes and then breathes into various apparatus to measure the output of the breath. This occurs before and after the test at prescribed intervals.
If it turns out that you do have EIA — there are treatments that run from ways of managing breath and exercise on through medications that will help you continue to exercise while avoiding the problems associated with asthma.
My hope is that whatever’s going on with me is just something goofy that’ll go away quickly — if not, there are always inhalers!
If you are experiencing something similar or know someone who is there are some excellent resources around the web. You can also click here to get started.