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  1. #1
    Formerly DMR For Life
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    Winter riding passion+ Asthma = no riding for this pssionite

    hey all
    heres my problem I really want to ride year round, snow, wind all that is good.

    But here's the problem i have asthma and whenever i exert my self in cold weather i end up coughing and quite often feeling sick for at least the rest of the day and sometimes longer

    So heres my question to those of u with a similar problem how do u deal with it other than riding inside (which i extremely dislike btw)?

    thanks
    DMR

  2. #2
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    I have the same problem. One method (I have yet to try) is to ride with one of those disposable dust masks. I don't know how much it would impede air intake. I was told that it helps the inhalation of warm air which supresses asthma attacks.

    Good luck

  3. #3
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    Try the disposable mask's migeorgeco mentioned, or try using a light-weight wicking balaclava. Either one is relatively inexpensive. Good luck, hopefully one will work for you.
    [SIZE=5][/SIZE]

  4. #4
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    I'm a regular user of the dust mask. It works so well. You do get a lot of people asking why you wear it.
    Just don't forget to remove it before spitting.

  5. #5
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    anyone had expeience using a balaclava with glasses?
    thanks
    DMR

  6. #6
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    I have the same problem and was about to post the same question.

    Thanks for the tips!

  7. #7
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    I don't like them because your lips are allways in contact with it. They also seam to ice over easier.

  8. #8
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    I've used both. Both have their drawbacks. The balaclava and glasses tend to fog over the glasses for me, but I prefer it to the dust mask, just have to play a bit to find the spot where your breath doesn't come up into your glasses. The other key is to ride easy, it's all about base miles this time of year, easy riding keeping the exertion/hard efforts/deep breathing to a minimum will help alleviate that and if you're like me you'll find the more you do, the better it gets, your body will adjust.

  9. #9
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    Another option is a neck gaiter....

    Quote Originally Posted by DMR For Life
    anyone had expeience using a balaclava with glasses?
    thanks
    DMR
    A fleece neck gaiter works well for warming air when breathing. The thin balacava does it well also with less fogging of riding glasses. If you live near an REI store they have a balacava made of their mts wicking fabric which is great. Its thin also so it will fit under a helmet well. I think they carry it on line also for about $10-12.
    Try one out and KEEP riding this winter.
    Dave
    Idaho Transplant (closet roadie)

  10. #10
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    i've got the same issues with cold weather asthma and sports induced asthma.
    i don't have issues very often, but it worries me enough that i will carry an albuterol inhaler with me for instant relief.
    i've never thought of trying a dust mask or gaitor, but with give a try this winter.

  11. #11
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    It depends how bad your Asthma is. Take albuterol before your start exercising. If you can put up with it, use a face-cover to warm the air you breath. If your Asmtha is so bad that it effects the rest of your day (even after albuterol) you should talk with your pulmonary physician.

  12. #12
    Sofa King We Todd Did
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    I suffer from asthma, but I also have the benefit of working on asthma pharmaceuticals, so I've had the privilege of learning quite a few things about my condition to help me cope with riding in the winter time. The trick to keeping one's asthma under control has almost nothing to do with the whether it's cold or it's warm or whatever. If your asthma's under control, it's under control, ya dig.

    For that, I use an inhaled corticosteroid. Corticosteroids are by far the best thing to use to keep that asthma under control and prevent asthma attacks. They're basically a man-made version of a chemical compound that's already being produced in your body, just tweaked to the higher levels you need and specific to working in your lungs. Just don't expect this to start working overnight. You gotta start taking it now and you'll see results in about a week or two, i.e. the absence of asthma attacks.

    Don't get me wrong, the cold will aggravate your lungs and may trigger some tightness or some wheezing, but if you're controlling your asthma with a preventive medicine, then the small bits of tightness and wheezing become far more managable. For that, I take a puff of my broncholdilator and off I go.

    You can do it. You can get that asthma under control and keep riding. Just go talk to your doctor about it. And the truth is, if your doctor tells you that there's no hope for you and that there's no way to control your asthma, then it's time to choose another doctor. 'Cause if it's one thing that I've learned while working on this business, it's that no one - and I mean NO ONE needs to suffer from asthma attacks, given the medicines we have available to us.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpinWheelz
    I suffer from asthma, but I also have the benefit of working on asthma pharmaceuticals, so I've had the privilege of learning quite a few things about my condition to help me cope with riding in the winter time. The trick to keeping one's asthma under control has almost nothing to do with the whether it's cold or it's warm or whatever. If your asthma's under control, it's under control, ya dig.

    For that, I use an inhaled corticosteroid. Corticosteroids are by far the best thing to use to keep that asthma under control and prevent asthma attacks. They're basically a man-made version of a chemical compound that's already being produced in your body, just tweaked to the higher levels you need and specific to working in your lungs. Just don't expect this to start working overnight. You gotta start taking it now and you'll see results in about a week or two, i.e. the absence of asthma attacks.

    Don't get me wrong, the cold will aggravate your lungs and may trigger some tightness or some wheezing, but if you're controlling your asthma with a preventive medicine, then the small bits of tightness and wheezing become far more managable. For that, I take a puff of my broncholdilator and off I go.

    You can do it. You can get that asthma under control and keep riding. Just go talk to your doctor about it. And the truth is, if your doctor tells you that there's no hope for you and that there's no way to control your asthma, then it's time to choose another doctor. 'Cause if it's one thing that I've learned while working on this business, it's that no one - and I mean NO ONE needs to suffer from asthma attacks, given the medicines we have available to us.
    yeah spinwheelz i agree...see my problem is that i have my asthma under control yet when i exert my self (ie running for the bus, biking, etc.) i end up coughing and i dislike that a lot (it hurts a lot too)
    i'll try this week and see how it goes
    DMR

  14. #14
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    I do a voice breathing exercise before riding that helps alot, send me a pm if you want to find out how to do it.

  15. #15
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    derekbob, I'd like to hear your voice breathing thingy. I'd like very much if'n you'd send me an email about it.
    I experience something different from most folks with asthma, in that I don't have a lot of problems most of the time, especially in the winter (dry) months...that is, until I over-exert. I usually have most of my breathing problems within the first hour of riding, especially if the terrain is hilly or the pace is fast. After about the first hour, and I have already had a few "bend-overs", I usually tend to have a fine ride afterwards, and mostly have a great day,even after while being proactive and inhaling beforehand. I don't exactly know what it is about that time frame, but warming up beforehand, even for as much as 30 minutes doesn't help.
    I have been in immunotherapy for almost three years for adult-diagnosed asthma. I have seen a dramatic decrease in daily episodes, but anytime exercise is involved, things go downhill. I have yet to try one of those 'breathing trainers', but am open if they work. I am at some diagnosis odds with my Doc, because I believe I have asthma due to pulmonary fibrosis. I worked for a railroad for a while when I was young and dumped LOTS of dry gravel on the rail beds that were due for rebuilding. Anyone remotely familiar with gravel knows that there can be huge dust storms involved. I think that I suffered some lung damage from this...it will never be cured. I am currently on a couple of meds, religiously, that help a lot...along with the allergy shots for dust and whatnot.
    Also, I chew mint flavored gum ALL of the time! It really helps to clear out the sinuses and keeps air flow to a maximum. I have used Breath-Rite strips with great success, but don't always have them on hand.
    Enough for now...derekbob, I want your voice power...


    Latah~

  16. #16
    sru
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    I hang the bike up for the winter around this time of year and play hockey to keep in shape. I also suffer from asthma when I play in very cold arenas or ride on cold days.

    I read a great article on the subject written by Gary Roberts, a veteran player in the NHL, who has had asthma since he was a kid. He has tried every drug, exercise and therapy there is and finds the best way to keep it under control is to have a spirited but fairly short (5 minutes) warm-up about 20 minutes before game time to get his breathing fairly heavy, then rest to let the lungs aclimatize to the tempurature and increased air intake.

    I started using this method a few years ago, and its been working for me. I no longer need the puffer on the bench.

    My usual bike loop has a short climb to get to the trailhead which gives me the short spirited warm-up I use when I play hockey. I have a short rest at the trailhead to let the lungs relax a bit, then go riding.

    Works for me.

  17. #17
    Dr. Porkenheimer
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    Exercise-induced sufferer

    I suffer from mild exercise-induced asthma and have gone the drug-free route. The use of a neck gaiter helps me quite a bit, as does a gradual warm-up beforehand. I try to think about my breathing, keeping it controlled, deep and even. If I'm feeling tight and/or wheezy, I take a rest and focus again on my breathing and being relaxed. My case is mild so you might need corticosteroids as well, but I am convinced that actively focusing on your breathing, along with use of a neck gaiter and some warm-up, makes a big difference.

  18. #18
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    Idea! Have you tried Acupuncture ?

    I am biased toward this approach not only as a practitioner but also as a patient.
    My experience with treating Asthma began as a Paramedic working in Harlem, NYC which has some of the highest rates of Asthma in the country.
    Following ten years working for FDNY I myself developed severe Asthma at 30 years old, for which I took Steroids and used Albuterol inhalers frequently with no resolve.
    My condition was brought under control utilizing Acupuncture, Herbs and Chi Kung. I was so impressed that I resigned from my job and went back to school for a Masters in Traditional Orental medicine...
    Now I ride a SS daily at altitudes between 4-6k with little trouble and race XC again. Yesterdays SS ride was at 45 degrees with no trouble and tonight I will do a two hour night ride at temps in the 30's.
    Yes I still carry an Albuterol inhaler ( effective and benign) but I rareley use it...So I would recommend you contact an Acupuncturist, eat quality food and look into Tai Chi or Yoga and learn to control your breathing.

    Good Luck
    Last edited by PinsNeedles; 11-15-2005 at 09:30 AM.
    ' Bend's dirtiest Acupuncturist '

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  19. #19
    Formerly DMR For Life
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    yeah skating right this canadian don't skate i know scary....so hockey out of the question
    DMR

  20. #20
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    Thanks dave for the suggestion tried this out the last few mornings 2 and -2 C respectively and it worked great...especially with it a bit loose around the face and if i keep moving
    DMR

  21. #21
    pewpewpew Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpinWheelz
    You can do it. You can get that asthma under control and keep riding. Just go talk to your doctor about it. And the truth is, if your doctor tells you that there's no hope for you and that there's no way to control your asthma, then it's time to choose another doctor. 'Cause if it's one thing that I've learned while working on this business, it's that no one - and I mean NO ONE needs to suffer from asthma attacks, given the medicines we have available to us.
    I agree. If my asthma messes up my ride it is because I didn't take my medicines or didn't warm up properly. In the height of my asthma season I take a daily antihistamine (claritin), a long acting steroid/bronchodialator (advair) twice a day, flonase daily to keep away the sinusitis, and two puffs of albuterol before I hit the trails. If I slack and miss doses, then I pay for it.

  22. #22
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    yeah i have some serious meds as well (my asthma is considered a serious case)pulmicort everyday and bricanol (sp?) if i need it which isn't very often...but doesn't seem to effect me to much unless i miss my pulmicort for quite a length of time...that said rode at 26 degrees this morning with my neck gaiter my mom wipped up in 20 min the other morning looks like i'll be riding for a while yet
    DMR
    Last edited by Full Mountain; 11-17-2005 at 08:34 PM.

  23. #23
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    You could Puma x Vexed Cycling Jacket

    Unfortunately, only 20 will be sold in US.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by okkra; 11-18-2005 at 07:45 AM.

  24. #24
    Shut Up, Legs!
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    Good job!

    I was in respiratory therapy for 8 years, and yes, warming the incoming air is the answer. Kudos to facing this issue and getting off of the trainer! I ride year round, in Chicago, a.k.a. The Windy City, and I have found the answers to all of the winter issues. Let me know if you need any more on this.
    A tough day on the trails still beats a good day at work...

  25. #25
    bpuodt
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    This may sound weird, but most of the time Asthma is 80% mental.

    I USED to have asthma, untill I trained my body to stop freaking out when it sensed danger. I had a really bad asthma attack when I was 12 years old. It freaked me out because I couldn't breath. Any time after that, I would freak out if I thought I was going to have an attack.

    Just freaking out and becoming nervous about your lungs will actually make the attack worse and worse.

    When I was 12, I couldn't do a single activity without my inhaler. I haven't touched one in over 10 years now.

    How did I solve my asthma?


    First, I had a near death experience when I passed out into a fire pit at age 15. I would've died, but someone pulled me out and I only suffered 3rd degree burns all over the back of my body. I now feel like my life has been running on over time since I could've died. I'm not affraid of death AT ALL. It helps a lot to not fear death, disease, asthma, whatever.

    Fear and panic ar the fuel of asthma attacks. Allergens are just the spark that triggers the fire.

    After High School, I went to college. I lived in a house with 5 dogs and 3 cats. Out of a scale of 1-10 my allergies WERE at 9. Severe. I moved into this house and suffered like you wouldn't believe for over 8 months. I eventually gained resistance to the allergens. This helped my asthma 10x. I no longer suffer as bad from allergens.


    THE MOST IMPORTANT thing I think I did was learn how to control my own mind and body. It takes a lot of work, but you can eventually take control of the subconscious mechanics in the brain that cause asthma attacks.

    Here's an exercise in mental control I use every day. It's easy, take the biggest breath you can take and hold it in as long as you can. As soon as you feel that tingle in your lungs that feels like asthma don't let all the air out at once. Instead let the air out as slowly as you can untill your lungs are empty. Do this as often and as many times a day as you can. You don't need to meditate to do this. Try it while walking or riding your bike, or at work. Just don't drive while doing it, you may pass out. This will train your body to leave you iin controll in any setting you might experiece in day to day life. Sitting down in a nice quite hot tub to practivce this doesn't prepare your body for controlling itself outside of comforts.

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