Sometimes exercise triggers asthma symptoms. This is called exercise-induced asthma (EIA).
The symptoms of EIA are coughing, wheezing, a feeling of tightness in your chest, or shortness of breath. Most times, these symptoms start soon after you stop exercising. Some people may have symptoms after they start exercising.
Wheezing - exercise-induced; Reactive airway disease - exercise
Be Careful Where and When you Exercise
Having asthma symptoms when you exercise does not mean you cannot or should not exercise. But be aware of your EIA triggers.
Cold or dry air may trigger your asthma symptoms. If you do exercise in cold or dry air:
DO NOT exercise when the air is polluted. DO NOT exercise near fields or lawns that have just been mowed.
Warm up before you exercise, and cool down afterward:
Some kinds of exercise may be less likely to trigger asthma symptoms than others.
Activities that keep you moving fast all the time are more likely to trigger asthma symptoms, such as running, basketball, or soccer.
Use Your Asthma Medicine Before you Exercise
Take your short-acting, or quick-relief, inhaled medicines before you exercise.
Long-acting, inhaled medicines may also help.
Follow your doctor's advice on which medicines to use and when.
Lugogo N, Que LG, Gilstrap DL, Kraft M. Asthma: clinical diagnosis and management. In: Broaddus VC, Mason RJ, Ernst JD, et al, eds. Murray and Nadel's Textbook of Respiratory Medicine. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 42.
Weiler JM, Brannan JD, Randolph CC, et al. Exercise-induced bronchoconstriction update - 2016. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2016;138(5):1292-1295.e36. PMID: 27665489 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27665489.
Review Date: 2/18/2018
Reviewed By: Laura J. Martin, MD, MPH, ABIM Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Hospice and Palliative Medicine, Atlanta, GA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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