What’s up with that sudden coughing fit you may’t appear to stop? Roy Artal, A Los Angeles-based certified pulmonologist says it’s quite common, especially this time of 12 months.
In the past, as Dr. Artal explains, this phenomenon was called exercise-induced asthma. This is now more often explained by exercise-induced bronchoconstriction. “It’s mainly airway hyperresponsiveness, where the airways tighten or constrict during exercise, and other people may then feel tightness in respiration or lack of lung capability, which is commonly manifested by coughing,” he says.
While we will assume that cold air is the predominant contributing factor, a study from American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology found that dry air has a much greater effect than temperature. “Cold air tends to contain less moisture than warm air, and fast-breathing dry air dehydrates the bronchi, causing them to constrict and restrict airflow,” the study said.
This feeling is most typical in dry climates, but other triggers might be similar to pollutants within the air, strong indoor perfumes, and even the dry air in a sauna-like hot yoga studio. Dr. Artal says many individuals typically only experience it within the winter when running outdoors or strenuous climbing. “Cold, dry air particularly is a trigger,” she says. “Many people may not have symptoms while running in Jackson, Mississippi, in the summertime, but may have symptoms in Jackson, Wyoming, within the winter. And for those people, the cure might be so simple as switching to training indoors through the winter months.”
For more persistent post-workout cough problems, medications and coverings can be found, says Dr. Artal. So if you may have persistent symptoms that repeatedly interfere together with your favorite activities, it’s definitely value seeing a physician, she says. Exercise-induced bronchospasm shouldn’t limit your ability to push yourself the best way you wish. “We should all do what we wish to do with exercise and do the activities we wish to do, whether it’s summer or winter,” she says. “If you may’t pass that litmus test, go consult with your doctor.”
But generally a small coughing fit and nothing to fret about, says Dr. Artal. And if moving your exercise routine from the paths to the treadmill appears like a seasonal killer, Dr. Artal offers some helpful suggestions to assist stave off mild symptoms: “Something so simple as warming up for just a few minutes before a run may help keep you from jumping into exercise or running away.” – says. “Also, wearing a face covering, similar to a balaclava, might be helpful against dry air – it’s going to trap some moisture within the respiratory tract.”
There’s no reason for a cough to maintain you from going out.