exercising shock

hi everyone!

Im new here and having read a few of the posts I decided to give it a go myself... Im 20 years old and starting my 3rd year at college soon. previously Ive had mildly/moderately bad asthma mostly in response to exercise/illness despite being a keen athlete and can usually recover using ventolin (only hospitalised once before). however, recently Ive been quite ill with glandular fever and have been unable to exercise for a few months, meaning Im very unfit at the moment! having recovered I decided to start exercising again to get fit for the term ahead (Im a tennis player/runner for college). I went on a 3 mile run this morning (Perhaps a little optimistic!) and found that I struggled far more than Im used to. I was really wheezy (I rarely ever wheeze) and felt really out of breath. My lungs were really sore and it hurt so much I couldnt breathe in enough to take my ventolin, Ive never experienced that pain before. it was such a shock and I had to walk on several occasions for long periods of time, not at all what Im used to even when unfit. I struggled to make it back home and when I did had a big coughing fit when inside. however I took my peak flow soon after and it was 420 (not that low considering I can get 500 and how ill I felt) I now feel completely exhausted and am still recovering now 6 hours later.

Is this normal? I feel so embarrased and ashamed and I dont know what to do. I would really appreciate some advice/ a helping hand... despite having asthma since I was about five I realise I dont know very much about it.

thanks for listening and sorry for whingeing, I know there are plenty who are much worse off,

katie xx

6 Replies

  • Hi Katie

    Welcome to the forum. Sounds like you've had a rough time, but glad to hear you are feeling better.

    We've got people on the forum who are very sporty and will probably be able to give you some good advice about getting back to how you were. I think you are probably right that the 3 mile run was a bit optimistic for trying to get back into it. With your ventolin, is it a puffer one you can use a spacer with? I always use one now and helps to get meds into me even when i am very short of breath and would struggle otherwise. I always take my ventolin before starting to exercise which helps, though at the moment my body doesn't really want to do any exercising without me wheezing loads.

    There's a section on the website about exercise and asthma


    No need to feel embarrassed about it or ashamed, your body has been through a lot with the glandular fever even without the asthma. It's not about how bad or well controlled your asthma is, it's how it affects you, so don't worry you are not whingeing at all. Maybe your GP might be able to help with some advice or the Asthma nurses on the freephone number here are great and very helpful.


  • katie,

    you've had quite a rough time and a long break from running due to what amounts to a serious chest infection. 6-8 weeks after isn;t really any time for your body to recover and you still need to consider slowing the running down and the distance.

    I assume you take a couple puffs of ventolin 20 mins before exercise and if you have a pMDI use a spacer with it for maximum effect. I know it sounds daft as well but unless you're running in the hot part of the day then the air is getting colder now and consider wearing a buff over your mouth if you mouth breath, but in reality you should be running slow enough at the moment to be breathing through your nose.

    If you want to get the fitness back, then do shorter runs more frequently, your body will find that less stressful than one long run.


  • Hi Katie

    Glandular fever really knocks your system about - I had it when I was your age and I remember it took me at least 6 months to get back to anything like normal. I wasn't asthmatic at that point. Best idea is to build up slowly, take your ventolin as has been suggested and perhaps start with gentle walks first to start building up your stamina. Listen to your body and when it says ""rest"" do exactly that, it's frustrating but over the long term means you will recover faster. Sonja

  • Hi there,

    good to hear you are getting better from glandular fever - it can be a complete wipeout. The others are right though, getting over a bad virus like that takes time and you need to take it really easy, particularly getting back into your fitness.

    It could be worth making an appointment with your asthma nurse to discuss how you can build up your fitness best. You don't say whether you use a preventer inhaler or not - this might be something you should discuss with your asthma nurse. I get exercise induced asthma, and it's much better if I take 2 puffs of ventolin before I do something, but it's been even better since I was on a long-acting reliever. Anyway, all this would be best discussed with your nurse/gp.

    Hope you get back to full fitness soon.

  • hi again!

    thank you so much for your replies, its great to have people to talk to as my family are not a very sympathetic lot!

    I take seretide 250 twice a day and singulair at night, plus obviously ventolin as well which I normally take through a spacer but cant when Im running because of its size. I think this is definately part of the problem though because I can't breathe in enough to take the ventolin, and I don't really know what to do to help .

    Im taking the advice given about shortening the running and yesturday I went for a very short one however I still got very tight chested and only about 2 minutes into it.

    I guess it'll just take time but I'm really not enjoying it at the moment! I'll take it slow for a while and build up to it.

    Thank you so much for your help,

    Katie x

  • Do you do swimming or cycling? If so it might be a more gentle way to ease yourself back into cardio exercise than running?

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