Asthma UK community forum
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Another Newbie


Glad to find a forum for this as needing a few tips on how to improve my lung capacity.

I was diagnosed about 6 months ago and with busy job have just been taking the brown spray twice a day and that's about it. I'm still getting out of breath running/walking up the stairs (used to be very sporty so that's a bit upsetting) - the doctor didn't really offer me any pointers except to grumpily send me to the chemist (in mild shock at news) to spend a small fortune on drugs.

So I found this website hoping to get a bit more practical advice. Does anyone know any good breathing exercises or foods that are of particular benefit? Also what's the sport of choice - I'm guessing aerobic, or doesn't it matter as long as heart rate goes up?

Thanks in advance.


6 Replies

Hi there, all I can suggest is you contact your surgery and ask for an appointment with the asthma nurse, most have one on site or should be able to refer you to one nearby. Your doc, IMHO hasn't done a terribly good job. You should not have been left with so many unanswered questions and I am not sure why you have just a brown inhaler.

I was given a blue one first, this is a reliever, ventolin, and is taken when you feel breathless. I had to do a peak flow chart for 2 weeks before and half an hour after the inhaler, twice a day, to show the Doc and nurse how my lungs were doing. I was then given the brown one, which is a preventer, and had to go away and do the peak flow again for a month and then see the nurse.

You too should be being monitored like this to see how your lungs are performing and set an asthma programme up. I went to the nurse a couple of weeks ago and she gave me instructions for the next couple of months at which time I have to go back again for a check up.

Good luck getting an appointment, once you have been properly assessed and have an idea of your peak flow patterns you should be able to get a proper grip on it all.



Hi there

Sorry to hear about your new dignosis, it is very hard at first but asthma needn't be the end of the world!

I too was only given a brown inhaler at first and felt undertreated by this and definately needed a blue inhaler, as Ali said, but only your doctor and/or asthma nurse can decide this really.

I'm not particularly sporty but swimming can be very beneficial to asthmatics, but I've found no sport to be too bad (unless your asthma is excercis-induced) and I was able to keep horse riding, kick boxing, and cycling up!

Emz x


From one newbie to another ...

Hi !

Welcome onboard - im another new member (to the board and to asthma!).

I would definatley suggest arranging an appointment at your surgeries asthma clinic. You will be able to discuss your issues and treatment with the asthma nurse who may have more time to help than the Dr (nothing personal - just we know your very busy!).

I had a review with the nurse last week and it was so useful - i feel much more in control now and more positive that i will be able to keep ion control !


I think our surprise at how you seem to have been left to sort it out yourself is obvious from the responses so far. Do please ask to see the Asthma Nurse if there is one at your practice. If not, go back to your GP for more. If he does not know any more, then ask for a referral to someone that does. If you get none of that, change your GP! I'd change him anyway if he's grumpy - he's supposed to be there to help. The biggest surprise certainly is that you have a preventer (the brown inhaler), but no reliever. You have a busy job, but please make time for this. With good management, we'll have you back up and down those stairs in no time.

I have recently taken up Yoga at my new gym and I have found the concentration on the techniques of relaxation and breathing excellent for my asthma. Any exercise is good, but it is so individual. With 100% support from my GP, I have also now have a Personal Trainer who has breathing on the list as one of my prime drivers. He is there to as much to make sure that I keep to my limits as much as expanding them. Taking the holistic route, also been doing Pilates for a couple of years - another one that's great for breathing techniques.

Oh - and the mild shock at the cost? Unfortunately, asthma prescriptions do not qualify as free in England, and for the next few years, are still charged for in Scotland. Consider either moving to Wales, where they are free, or getting a pre-payment certificate. It may save you money. See for details.

I'm new-ish to this too - diagnosed last spring/summer. Please PM me if you wish.

Welcome to AUK.



Thanks everyone, it's great to come back and find loads of advice and supportive messages. You've inspired me to go back this week and get a better level of service. Thanks for the tip on prepay too.

Have good weeks all.



I was very active before my diagnosis of asthma last year. I have reluctantly accepted it and was very adamant I was not changing my exercise levels to accomidate it. Before my investigations for my chronic cough my Gp had started me on symbicort (steriod and long acting broncodilator) and singulair tables. As my asthma has settled a little I am usually controlled with symbicort (twice daily) and a dose of salbutamol before exercise such as an aerobic class or gym. For more intensive exercise, such as hill walking/climbing, where I am exercising over a longer period of time I take singulair tablets about 30mins before and it helps me a great deal. It seems to help open my airways and calm down inflammation, so much so I have continued to exercise several times during the week and climb mountians most weekends- so don't let asthma stop you doing what you enjoy!


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