Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Baby it's cold outside

I don't know about you guys, but I'm freezing! I woke up yesterday morning and the temp outside was 10 degrees and ice was on the roads. NOT okay. On my way to class I was miserable from the wind chill and snow.

This picture really doesn't do my walk to class justice
If you're a wheezer like me, the cold weather is your worst enemy. Cold weather causes serious breathing issues for asthmatics and don't get me started about exercising in the icy temperatures. I've put together a list of my tips for winter/cold-weather asthma issues:
  • Stay Inside - if it's really really cold you need to move your workout indoors. I workout in the afternoons and walk to class in the mornings. My personal test is to check how my lungs feel during my walk to class. If I'm getting that strained feeling on my walk from the temps, I move my workout indoors.  Everyone is different, maybe your asthma can handle less or more. Know your limits and stick to them.
  • Drink Extra Water- when your airways are too dry, it makes it harder to breathe. In the winter the air gets dryer, so it's extra important to stay well hydrated so that you don't add stress to your airways. 
  • Bundle Up- if you are running outside, make sure to wear a scarf or something to cover your mouth with. A neck gaiter may be a good investment if you enjoy running outside in the cold. Also don't forget to keep your core temperature warm with lots of layers there too. The warmer your core is, the warmer your airways
  • Drink Warm Liquids - this is the tip I swear by! It really helps. Warm liquids like hot tea, coffee, hot chocolate, or even warm water help to warm the airways and the core to help relieve stress to your breathing. Like I've said before, I was a singer and singers use this trick for the same reasons before a performance. The clearer the liquid, the better it works so try to stay clear of milky teas or coffees. My favorite is hot water with lemon. 
  • Humidifiers are your friends - they keep the air nice and moist in the dry winter months. 
  • Fireplaces are your enemies - while the warmth from a fireplace is great, the dryness and smoke is terrible. You're much better off bundling up under extra covers than near a fireplace. 
  • Take care of your body - winter is a really rough time of year on the lungs. Take it easy and avoid extra stress for your body because you are more likely to get sick when your lungs are all ready taking a beating. 
Hope everyone is staying warm! Have an extra tips for cold-weather asthma or running?

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