How Running 8 Km Helped Me Fight Asthma

‘I started running in 2009.
‘In a few years, I noticed that my cholesterol went back to normal. There was no sign of diabetics and my asthma took to its heels.’
Gopi Yennu, a software engineer from Virginia, USA, shares his fitness story.

I was four when I was diagnosed with asthma.

Asthma is a chronic condition that affects the airways in the lungs. The airways can become inflamed and narrowed at times causing asthma attacks.

I suffered for innumerable years and had to control it using inhalers, bronchodilator, steroids and other medications.

I was basically a couch potato living a sedentary lifestyle, eating fried food at will and not worrying about my health.

The result was that other health issues creeped in impacting my overall health and worsening my asthma.

It got to a point where things got out of control and dependency on different medications started increasing.

This was a huge turning point for me and I made up my mind to turn this around by natural means.

I realised that being asthmatic can be a huge drawback to do any regular exercise.

I could barely walk a few yards before I’d end up huffing and puffing.

Initially, it seemed like I would never come out of it. 

So I did a bit of research and realised that running can be a good exercise for people with asthma.

Asthma and Running

Based on research I tried to take one step at a time.

I started with brisk walking covering small distances.

A few weeks later, I switched to fast walking followed by slow running for short distances after a few more weeks of training.

All this while I had to use an inhaler before starting any exercise, since exercises induced asthma triggered attacks.

I had to be very careful during those initial months of training.

Over a long period I was able to improve my lung strength enough to run longer distances, adding a few more yards each day.

I still remember those initial days as a runner, when people used to stop on the trail and ask me if I needed an ambulance due to my heavy huffing and puffing 🙂

Over a period of time I slowly stopped using the inhaler and ran for longer distances without any medications.

I mastered it to such an extent that I was successfully able to compete in the Navy 5 miler with a good time without stopping my jog throughout the course.

Now I run 5 miles (approx 8 km) with zero medications.

People may say 5 miles is nothing, and that there are people who run marathons.

For an asthma patient like me, running 5 miles is tougher than a marathon because of my limited lung capacity for breathing.

I started running in October 2009.

In a few years, I noticed that my cholesterol went back to normal. There was no sign of diabetes and my asthma took to its heels.

I stopped eating fat, greasy, fast food and focused on consuming a good diet with healthy options.

I was not overweight, but I’ve lost approximately 7 kg of weight.

I noticed a huge change in my life. I began to focus more on doing fun stuff, living a full life, enjoying more interesting stuff than worrying about asthma.

I never needed to visit the doctor and could stop all medications.

I became happier in life.

I’ve never felt more confident in my life before.

Lessons learnt

If you have asthma, it is very important to start slowly and take your doctor’s advice regularly.

With a condition like mine it is impossible to compete with regular people, so I never tried to.

Even now I huff and puff when I run, but I don’t give up.

I have stopped using any kind of medicine in the last 10 years.

I exercise regularly, eat the right foods and hope to be an inspiration for others.

Besides running, I also picked up tennis in summer and racket ball in winter. And that is far more interesting to me compared to running.

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