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Asthma and Willpower to Exercise

Hi all,

I found myself in a situation this last week that is a unusual for me. Something has set off some chest discomfort and from Wednesday I have been feeling breathless with minimal exersion (having a shower, drying off and dressing) and cardio classes have been a real strain more than the usual. Even from Monday I didnt have the stamina and willpower to finish the class, Wednesday I gave up after 20 mins and I skipped the spin class completely on Friday. I really wondered if I was sickening for something, but it hasn't materialised into anything which is why I havent been to see the doctor. I spoke to the pharmacist and he told me the maintenance inhaler I am on is the strongest dosage of the brand. I can only imagine that it might be a psychological thing. I was telling a friend that every cardio exercise session requires a fair amount of willpower to get through the first 15 - 30 mins until my chest opens up and breathing becomes easier. Even with my normal use of my inhalers as prescribed by my doctor, it just feels too tiring to put my body through it all again this week. I could really do with some advice and reassurance especially from those of you that do regular exercise. should I just 'vasbyt' (an Afrikaans word that means bite hard, dont give up) keep going and it will get better, take it easy until my chest feels more comfortable, which it never really does when doing cardio, but I normally just persevere, or stick to alternative exercises that are less taxing on the lungs?

  1. Thanks for taking the time to share what you are experiencing. I could see why this circumstance might feel confusing - you aren't exactly sick, but you aren't feeling capable of your normal activities. That is good to hear that you are listening to your body, and taking a step back from exercise from needed. How are you feeling today? Have you noticed any improvements or a worsening of your symptoms? Do you think it might be time to check in with your doctor? -Ashlen, community moderator

    1. Hi Ashlen, thanks so much for the reply, I haven't been on this site for a couple of weeks and missed it until now. To answer your question, I started feeling a bit more energetic after a few days, but have realized that it could just have been the almost unbareable heat of our Februaries that was sapping the life out of me. Over the last month, as we go into change of season, my pollen allergy is worse, which also leaves me tired, but that's something I just live with like most of us with allergies. I have done what you suggested, listen to my body, so make daily adjustments to my exercise routine, activities and be kind to myself. I think that it would be interesting to hear from other community members, if, why and how they deal with the issue of self emotional and psychological care, not pushing themselves to hard and giving themselves a break when having a 'bad' asthma day or week.

      1. Not a problem at all! I haven't been as active on here either. Thanks for the update! Pollen season can definitely be brutal...hope you are managing okay. Listening to your body can be so helpful, but also so tricky. I agree - our community members have such wonderful perspectives and helpful advice. Our forums ( and stories section ( are such a great place to read through. -Ashlen, community moderator

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