How To Start Running With Asthma

Running with asthma can be a real challenge, but it is definitely not impossible. As someone who has personal experience with asthma and running, I understand the difficulties and frustrations that can come with trying to start a running routine. However, with the right approach and some extra precautions, you can enjoy the many benefits of running while managing your asthma effectively.

Consult Your Doctor

Before starting any exercise program, especially if you have asthma, it is essential to consult with your doctor. They will be able to evaluate your condition and provide you with personalized advice and recommendations. Your doctor may also prescribe specific medications or inhalers to use before exercising to help manage your asthma symptoms.

Warm Up Properly

A proper warm-up is crucial before any workout, but it is even more important for individuals with asthma. Take the time to warm up slowly and gently, allowing your body and lungs to adjust to the increased activity. Start with some light stretching and breathing exercises to prepare your respiratory system for the run ahead.

Choose the Right Time and Place

When it comes to running with asthma, choosing the right time and place can make a significant difference. Avoid running during times when pollution or allergen levels are high, such as during rush hour or in heavily polluted areas. Opt for running in the morning or late evening when the air is cleaner and cooler. Additionally, running in a park or on trails can provide better air quality compared to running on busy streets.

Take It Slow and Steady

One of the keys to successfully starting a running routine with asthma is to take it slow and steady. Gradually increase the intensity and duration of your runs over time. Listen to your body and pay attention to any warning signs or triggers that may indicate you need to take it easier or pause. Remember, progress is progress, no matter how small.

Control Your Breathing

Breathing techniques are essential for runners with asthma. Focus on breathing through your nose and exhaling slowly and fully through your mouth. This helps to warm and humidify the air before it reaches your lungs, reducing the risk of an asthma flare-up. If you feel short of breath or experience any asthma symptoms, slow down or walk until your breathing returns to normal.

Stay Hydrated

Proper hydration is crucial for everyone, but especially for individuals with asthma. Make sure to drink enough water before, during, and after your runs to keep your airways moist and prevent dehydration. Dry air can irritate the airways and trigger asthma symptoms, so staying hydrated is an important part of managing your asthma while running.

Have a Plan B

Despite your best efforts, there may still be days when your asthma symptoms flare up and running becomes challenging. It is important to have a backup plan for those situations. Consider incorporating alternate forms of exercise into your routine, such as swimming or cycling, which can be less harsh on the respiratory system. Remember, it’s all about finding what works best for you and your body.


Starting a running routine with asthma may seem daunting, but with the right approach and some extra precautions, it is definitely achievable. Remember to consult your doctor, warm up properly, choose the right time and place, take it slow and steady, control your breathing, stay hydrated, and have a plan B for those challenging days. With consistent effort and the proper management of your asthma, running can become an enjoyable and beneficial part of your life.