I Have Trouble Breathing After Exercise

by Nancy Winlove-Smith

About Nancy Winlove-Smith

Based in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, Nancy Winlove-Smith has been writing health-related articles since 2005. Her articles and interviews have appeared in "The Natural Healer," "Alive Magazine," "Hamilton Magazine" and various health websites. Winlove-Smith holds a Diploma of Phytotherapy from Mohawk College and a Certificate of Completion as a Contemporary Medical Acupuncturist from McMaster University.

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When you have trouble breathing after exercise, you normally recover within a few minutes. If your shortness of breath, the sensation of difficult breathing unrelated to your level of physical activity, continues beyond a normal recovery period, it may be due to your stress level or symptomatic of a deeper problem that requires a visit to your doctor.

Exercise Induced Asthma

The World Health Organization estimates 235 million people worldwide suffer from asthma. Individuals may have no asthma-related symptoms other than exercise induced asthma. Shortness of breath, wheezing, tight chest, coughing or chest pain after exercise are typical symptoms. Cold temperature and dry air are also triggers related for this condition. If you're breathing through your mouth during intense exercise, it brings cold dry air into your lungs, causing them to spasm. If you suspect you may have exercise induced asthma, call your doctor to get tested.

Allergies to Mold and Mildew

Inhaled mold and mildew trigger immune and inflammatory responses, which causes shortness of breath. Take a look around your workout area if you are experiencing breathing difficulties after exercise. A fitness center that is not well maintained or a home-based gym in the basement may harbor mold and mildew. Allergy testing by your doctor can determine if shortness of breath after exercise is related to mold and mildew.

Medication Side Effects

Some medications also cause shortness of breath as a side effect. Potassium-sparing drugs for heart conditions and premenstrual syndrome may affect your breathing. Beta blockers prescribed for heart conditions and migraine suppress your respiration. Interferon prescribed for hepatitis and cancer can also affect breathing. Seek immediate medical attention if your breathing continues to be difficult for an extended period of time after you exercise or if you experience any other symptoms, such as nausea or chest pain.

Stress and Anxiety

Stress and anxiety affect everyone differently. Shortness of breath can occur with elevated levels of stress and anxiety. An intense exercise program when you are anxious or involved in demanding personal commitments may leave you feeling short of breath. Lack of sleep, extra caffeine and smoking also increase the risk of breathing problems after exercise. Regular exercise, a balanced diet and meditation reduce stress and decrease the risk that you will be short of breath after your workout. If your symptoms persist after your stressful period ends, contact your doctor.

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This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.