Is it possible to have always had asthma but due to being fit it can go unnoticed?


an hour agoChrisR65

Looking back I'm left wondering if I might have always had asthma for the following reason:

I did lots of sport as a child and teenager and went onto be a PE teacher.

When I was a teenager I did the Duke of Edinburgh Award and when doing the walking I could walk at 4mph on the flat but every time I had to walk up a mountain or incline I was always the last in the group and struggled to get my breathe!! And yet I was really fit.

This has always been the case throughout my life - as soon as I go uphill I get really out of breathe.

As I've got older and do hardly any sport or exercise could this be a reason why my asthma is now causing a problem, as well as getting older??

Those of you with more knowledge of asthma - is this possible that I've always had mild asthma but it wasn't a problem because I was fit????


7 Replies

  • Hi there Chris, this is definitely possible. I was very sporty when I was young. I skied internationally, and would be almost keeling over for breath at the end of a Super Giant slalom. I first had asthma diagnosed as a result of hay fever when I was 14, but believe I had it as a child as I could never run for long distances without being incredibly breathless. And was always sick with chest infections. I was on all the sports teams and have always been fit.

    My Asthma took a turn for the worse in my early 30's, and paradoxically because I had small kids I was doing less exercise. Interestingly I got a bad bone density scan in my early 40's due to the amount of steroids I was taking and was advised to take up weight training and either to walk or run for 30 mins 6 days a week. My lung function now, with the help of drugs is really good when I am well. I am sure that consistent exercise contributes to this.

    I have a rule about exercise now. If I have a fever or an infection I give myself a break. Otherwise I exercise, if I've been sick I go easy, but I still walk, and go to the gym, but cut back on reps and weight and slow down. Anything is better than nothing. It makes a big difference as you recover as moving helps to move mucus from your lungs, even if you feel sh*t.

    As you are sporty yourself, try something new, yoga is a good start because of the breathing as is Pilates. I am fighting bingo wings, so it's weights for me. Walking is great as you can do it anywhere.

    Very good luck


  • Thanks for your reply - really helpful 👍👍 I must try to do some regular exercise once everything has stabilised.

  • Some people just can't go up hills !

    You need to be small and light to travel up hill easily , the larger you are the harder it is .

  • I'm small and light - but it certainly isn't always easy to go up hill. Of course, I'm no longer young either - it certainly was easier when I was:-).

  • I have a friend who is a competitive fell runner . He maintains that some people are good up hill , others down . Just the way you are born I guess !

    I'm sure you know that lung function decreases with age .

  • My elder son, a keen cross country runner who prefers hilly courses, says the same: he is definitely better uphill.

    To be honest I'm not great at downhill either, but for a different reason to asthma. I'm hypermobile and find coming downhill hard on knees and ankles.

    Yes, I was aware that lung function decreases with age. Every time I do a ballet class I feel it.

  • I've recently been advised to walk as many days as possible, to counteract osteopenia found as a result of a bone scan.....arranged due to my worries about my ever increasing steroid intake. It's hard changing daily habits to fit it in but I'm close to 5 miles about 4 days a week now. And I feel much better for it, I have to admit. I needed the impetus of the osteopenia diagnosis, but I'm finding that it helps my breathing and my asthma problems enormously. I've also got more energy much more often, and feeling much more trim all round. At first I thought I'd earned myself a licence to eat more (these steroids!) but soon realised I wasn't walking far enough for any diet changes. Pity!! But I can recommend the regular walking. Buy yourself a comfy pair of walking shoes/trainers (Fitflops?) and off you go 👍

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