Yes, you read that right.
No, I’m not trying to be funny, I’m actually Having An Issue.
Imagine being into exercise, just for a bit, right? Like, you’re really enjoying it, pootling along nicely, pushing yourself and feeling GOOD about yourself (it’s about TIME, y’all).
(I’m actually eating brownies as I write this so no I am not life goals yet.)
But then imagine your lungs just, like, not working? Filling up with phlegm instead?*
*(I didn’t say this wouldn’t be overly-graphic and gross.)
As you’ve probably guessed from my many, many rants about this, I am asthmatic. I have been an inhaler-sucking, wheezy and incapable individual for, well, as long as I can remember. I don’t particularly mind having asthma – I’m used to it by now – but it can be so ANNOYING.
(E.g. when I can’t walk up a flight of stairs without stopping at the top to catch my breath.)
(OR MAYBE HAVING TO PAY FOR 4 DIFFERENT PRESCRIPTIONS JUST TO KEEP MY AIRWAYS OPEN.)
Anywayyyy *collects self*, um, asthma is an inflammatory condition which affects a person’s airways.
In short, when I try to breathe, my lungs flip out and all the little tubes inside of them, start to swell up (see pic below).
This has the knock-on effect of making it harder and harder to breathe.
Currently, there isn’t a cure for asthma, but there are medications you can take, which essentially force the airways to relax, making it easier to breathe again.
Now, there are different things that can trigger this tightening of the airways. The NHS (link at the end of this article), clearly defines the most common triggers. But more simply, asthmatic conditions are usually the result of either:
- allergies, or
I am an allergic asthmatic, which basically means that whenever I breathe air, my lungs find something to complain about. (Seriously, ask my housemates. They’re all like Cam, how do u even function? Answer: I DON’T KNOW.)
IN THEORY, I shouldn’t be affected by exercise.
Sooo… why can’t I run 5k (AKA the shortest distance you can run properly), without sounding like a dyING GOAT?
I swear to you, I pinky promise (and we all know that’s serious business), that I am fit, and active, and train different parts of my body/ muscle groups on rotation.
I am CONVINCED that my LUNGS are the PROBLEM, HERE. *Scowls at chest*.
The solution ?
Ummm… as yet, I don’t really have one.
I do set my breathing to my pace, from the minute I start running (breathe in for 2 strides, out for 2 strides).
I do warm up before setting off, as that kind of primes the lungs.
I do breathe in through my nose, out through my mouth (I have read that this is the best way to get nice, moist air into my lungs. Ew.)
And god knows, that I really don’t run fast.
Any advice, or sympathetic experiences, or exercises I can do to help would be much, much appreciated.
I know it’s not really that bad, and I wrote this dramatically because, well, it’s more fun to write that way.
But it’s really disheartening when you want to make progress and you just… can’t find a way through.
Running is my exercise-prozac. It’s my empowerment. I’d love to be able to call myself a runner one day.
Here’s hoping that maybe we (the asthmatics), can figure something out?
( ^^ link to NHS page on asthma).
Love and wheezes,
(and I apologise for my ranting)