Many people who have bronchitis are healthy, active people that may have received the illness from someone else who passed it along through a virus. Bronchitis can take a person out of their routine for weeks at a time. It can take you out of work or school and keep you bed ridden for up to two weeks. Bronchitis prevents you from being able to do social activities as well as other day-to-day activities, including exercising. Exercise is a great way to stay healthy and avoid illness (including bronchitis) but it is not a remedy for the illness. Bronchitis affects the lungs and throat, causing a mucus filled cough and makes it hard to breathe. Exercising can exasperate this, making the duration of the illness longer, and make you feel worse.
It is hard if a person is used to exercising regularly and has to stop exercising for a long period of time. However, it is important to listen to your body. When bronchitis is at its worse, it is important to rest, take medicine, eat healthy, and limit your physical activity. As time goes on, you may be able to perform moderate exercise. It is essential that you do not over do it when working out. Irritating your lungs will only worsen the illness and prevent exercise further.
Once breathing feels easier to do, you can start with light exercise. It will take time for you to build up your strength to do the vigorous activity you once did, so make sure to take it slow.
Start off with simple, low impact exercises. Exercises like this include: walking, swimming or using an elliptical machine. These types of exercises do not put excess strain on the lungs, and will help your body be able to build up to the exercise routine that you were used to.
If you have chronic bronchitis, the illness can affect you for your entire life, making exercise difficult for more than just a few weeks. When having chronic bronchitis, a healthy diet is essential since exercise can be quite difficult. It is not impossible to exercise if you have chronic bronchitis; however talk with a respiratory therapist who can instruct you on different breathing techniques to use when exercising to open up your airways. Also, talk with an expert because chronic bronchitis damages your lungs, and being aware of breathing techniques while exercising can minimize damage.
If you have decided to exercise while having bronchitis, there are a few things you should look for. If you are coughing and it is hard to stop, if you cannot catch your breath, or you are coughing up blood or mucus, you need to stop exercising immediately and consult a doctor right away. You should a week or so while your symptoms improve before you try any type of exercise again, or just wait until you are fully healed to resume any physical activity.
If you are concerned with exercise, or feel skeptical about beginning an exercise routine again, make sure to contact your doctor so he or she can provide a detailed diagnosis. They will be able to guide you through the steps to take to start exercising again safely while enduring bronchitis symptoms or signs.