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Sport proper warmup

Dear all,

about two weeks ago I had my frst ever asthma attack. I'm a 40 year old woman who never had great lungs (somewhat smallish, peak flow always some 50-90 below normal depending on calc method), but also never had serious problems either. Call me thick, but I'd love to work out again as soon as possible. I do enjoy it a lot and it's my method of relaxation.

My workout routine for the last months were high intensity interval bodyweight and weight exercises and I'd hoped to add heavy lifting soon. I have dodgy feet which prevent me from doing any type of cardio apart from swimming, hence I chose high intensity strength training for becoming a bit stronger, but also generally fitter.

Today I tried out a few weighted squats (worked) and a few kettlebell swings (worked less good), and I realized I need a good warm up routine for my lungs. Do you have any suggestions that don't involve cardio? I have a big boxing bag, floor mat, gym ball and an array of weights and kettlebells. I also have a crosstrainer though my feet don't allow me to use it regularly.

Some additional info: I currently don't live in the UK but in an extremely hot, dry and at times very dusty country. The whole house is cooled by one air conditioning system which is a bit on the weak side but for some reason my workout room always feels cool. I prefer to avoid the pool at the moment as it is hardly cooled and has no sun protection.

Thanks a lot.

2 Replies

Hi :)

I do a lot of running, swimming and pilates. Exercise is actually really good for asthma, so it's good you want to get into it asap!

Before I exercise I use my reliever. Exercise is a massive trigger for me so using it (4 puffs) before I exercise helps a lot. I usually just take it before I get ready, so about 15 mins before any exercise. I make sure that I start off slow and concentrate on breathing, so rather than running, I'll walk for a bit, the jog, then run. I use pilates style breathing which really helps, it's basically just remind yourself to breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth a regular intervals (literally have in,2,3,4 out,2,3,4 going round my head!). Perhaps you could do less strenuous exercises to start with and work your way up? I find that this is also really helpful in gauging how my asthma is going to be and how much I can push myself during that workout.

I think a lot of it come down to understanding yourself, which is the hardest part! You kind of have to work out what signs you'll get that your asthma is affected since breathlessness and exercise go hand in hand anyway! I'd suggest having a look at the sport pages on this site, it might give you a few hints, and maybe have a chat with your doctor if you are really struggling.

Sorry that isn't much help!


It does help, Rachel (love the little smiley behind your name!)

I've changed medication now and got rid of a lot of side effects, including a high resting pulse. I need to test a bit more though if my lungs don't actually get tighter initially from using it! That's the impression I had on first use of the new medication this morning, though it might have been a coincidence as I didn't sleep well.

Anyway, I realized I still need to do sports very slowly as my pulse shoots up to 180 extremely quickly at the moment. That's around my 90% max heart rate (max is ~205) and not something you can keep up training at for a long time. I hope things will get better in due time as I really do enjoy working out. I now do a couple of kettlebell swings and clean and presses, or just a few pushups regularly just to keep my muscles engaged and walk up all the way to the office on the 18th floor. I found out the hard way that I can do that yesterday when we had a false alarm and the lifts were shut down :D


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