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Bronchitis & Jogging

By Damiana Chiavolini

Bronchitis is the inflammation of the bronchial tubes, the small structures that carry air to the lungs. Acute bronchitis is caused by a viral infection and less frequently by bacteria. Chronic bronchitis, a type of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, occurs when a patient has a productive cough most of the day for more than three months. Symptoms include cough, shortness of breath, wheezing, chest pains and fatigue. Regular exercise, including jogging, is extremely beneficial for relieving symptoms.

Treatment

No treatment is available for bronchitis caused by a virus, but patients can become more comfortable with plenty of fluids, rest, treating a fever as needed and using a humidifier to open up the airways. Antibiotics will be prescribed for bacterial bronchitis. If you suffer from chronic bronchitis and your symptoms persist, your provider may prescribe an inhaler to clear your lungs. If you are a smoker with chronic bronchitis you will experience more intense symptoms and should consider quitting.

Jogging

If you have chronic bronchitis, jogging will raise your oxygen intake, decrease the intensity of your symptoms, strengthen and tone your muscles, build up your energy levels, improve shortness of breath and decrease stress, tension and anxiety caused by coping with the disease. Jogging regularly will also help you relax and rest better. The advantages of jogging will be particularly beneficial if you combine physical activity with breathing exercises, education and counseling.

Exercise Routine

Talk to your doctor before starting your jogging program. Determine if this activity is the one recommended for you and how many times per week you should exercise. Start warming up with activities such as stretching to gradually increase your heart rate and minimize the risk of muscle injury. Start by walking briskly and slowly increase your jogging intensity. Talk to your provider about methods for monitoring your heart rate. For the cool down phase, slowly decrease your exercise intensity before stopping completely.

Breathing

Breathing correctly while jogging will maximize your lung activity and boost oxygen intake. In addition, breathing will help you relax and release stress. Inhale through your nose while keeping your mouth closed. Exhale slowly through pursed lips. Exhales should normally be longer than inhales. If you experience shortness of breath, lower your breathing rate and focus on exhaling. If you cannot catch your breath and start coughing incessantly during the activity, contact your doctor and consider resuming exercise once the symptoms have subsided.

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