Does Running Help Shortness Of Breath

As an avid runner and fitness enthusiast, I have often wondered about the relationship between running and shortness of breath. It’s a common misconception that running exacerbates shortness of breath, but in reality, regular running can actually help improve respiratory function and reduce the incidence of breathlessness.

Understanding the Benefits

When we engage in running or any form of cardiovascular exercise, our lungs work harder to supply oxygen to our muscles and tissues. Over time, this can lead to an increase in lung capacity and improved overall respiratory function. Running also helps to strengthen the diaphragm and the intercostal muscles, which are crucial for efficient breathing.

The Role of Endurance

Running, especially long-distance running, can improve endurance and stamina. As a result, the body becomes more efficient at utilizing oxygen, which can reduce the feeling of breathlessness during physical activities and even in daily life. Building endurance through running can lead to a decreased respiratory rate and improved breathing efficiency.

Scientific Evidence

Several studies have highlighted the positive impact of running on respiratory health. Research has shown that regular aerobic exercise, such as running, can lead to improvements in pulmonary function, including increased lung capacity and enhanced gas exchange. These changes can contribute to a reduced incidence of shortness of breath, particularly during physical exertion.

Practical Tips

For individuals who experience shortness of breath while running, it’s important to approach the activity gradually and listen to the body. Starting with a brisk walk and gradually incorporating running intervals can help build endurance and prevent overwhelming breathlessness. Additionally, paying attention to proper breathing techniques, such as diaphragmatic breathing, can further enhance the benefits of running for respiratory health.


From personal experience and backed by scientific evidence, running can indeed help alleviate shortness of breath. Consistent participation in running and other forms of aerobic exercise can contribute to improved respiratory function, enhanced endurance, and a reduced sense of breathlessness. So, lace up those running shoes and embrace the benefits of this empowering form of physical activity!