Running is an exercise in order to help an individual remain fit and healthy, improve heart and lung health, lessen mental stress. On the other, it can also cause coughing. There is a slight feeling of breathless and tiredness especially after running which is a normal phenomenon when the person is used to run on a regular basis. There are some individuals, who experience constant episodes of cough and breathlessness when they run. These can be caused by irritation in throat, exposure to allergens and exercise-induced asthma. Coughing can cause a feeling of tightness in the chest after running.
Common causes of coughing after running
- When performing a vigorous physical activity, the respiratory rate will rise and breathing becomes rapid. This can cause a slight irritation in the respiratory tract and produce cough.
- Breathing through the mouth and inhaling dry and cool air coming from the atmosphere directly to the lungs and sometimes the air is polluted with dust particles and allergens such as pollens. Inhalation of these particles can cause irritation of the respiratory tract and cause coughing.
- Coughing after running can also be caused by exercise-induced asthma, where the symptoms include wheezing, cough, white-colored sputum, fatigue and shortness of breath.
Symptoms of exercise-induced asthma usually happen 10-15 minutes after the individual stops running but the symptoms can also occur while engaging in physical activities. There is tightness of the chest, difficulty in breathing, wheezing and fatigue. Take note that the symptoms are gradually minimized when the individual rests.
Treatment and home remedies of coughing after running
- Take a walk at least 10-15 minutes before running since this helps in warming up the lungs and serves as a preparation for vigorous physical activities such as running.
- Breathe through the nose rather than the mouth while running since it helps in preventing plenty of air to enter the air passage which will cause dryness and inflame the airways. The air that enters through the nose is naturally filtered and moistened.
- If running in areas with cold climate, wear a mask which helps warm up the air that is being breathed in. If a mask is not available, breathe through a scarf which has the same function as a mask.
- Run nearby a lake or a seashore where the atmosphere are humid since it helps minimize episodes of coughing after running.
- If the affected person has allergies, he/she must avoid running outside when the pollen counts are very high.
- Avoid running or performing strenuous exercises if suffering from common cold or other respiratory infections.
- Perform exercises regularly in order to help stay in good shape and for good respiratory health.
- Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables that are rich in vitamin C such as oranges, strawberries, broccoli and leafy vegetables as well as take vitamin C supplements.
- Eat fatty fish such as tuna and salmon or fish oil supplements
- The individual should stick with a low-salt diet.