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Question
Posted by: breathless | 2011/02/04

small lung capacity

I struggle alot when I exercise because after a few minutes I am short of breath and I need to stop to catch my breath before I start again. If I''m jogging (speed 7.5) on the treadmill I''ll be lucky if I can make 5 min without stopping. Or if I''m in the pool the max I can do is 2 lenghts before I need to stop and catch my breath.

Could there be an underlying disorder? If not, how can I increase my lung capacity?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageFitnessDoc

Hi there

Difficult to say for sure - it could be that you have asthma, or a condition called exercise induced asthma, and that is something you can only diagnose if you have an exercise test with a pulmonogist.

It could also just be familiarity with exercise. At the risk of being flippant or dismissive, it's pretty common to have a short limit before one feels breathless. Fitness and training are the only way to improve it, and so if you progressively increase your training volume, you should overcome this problem.

For example, if you can make 5 min at 7.5 km/hour, then my advice is to start with 3 min at 7.5 km/hour, run it and then walk for 3 minutes. Repeat this five times, and you'll have a 30 minute session consisting of 3 runs and 3 walks. Should be manageable.

Give that aw eek or two, then consider stepping up to 4 minutes of running, or drop the walk to 2 minutes, whichever you prefer. By doing this, you'll systematically increase the stress of training, but also adapt to it!

Good luck

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: fitnessdoc | 2011/02/17

Hi there

Difficult to say for sure - it could be that you have asthma, or a condition called exercise induced asthma, and that is something you can only diagnose if you have an exercise test with a pulmonogist.

It could also just be familiarity with exercise. At the risk of being flippant or dismissive, it's pretty common to have a short limit before one feels breathless. Fitness and training are the only way to improve it, and so if you progressively increase your training volume, you should overcome this problem.

For example, if you can make 5 min at 7.5 km/hour, then my advice is to start with 3 min at 7.5 km/hour, run it and then walk for 3 minutes. Repeat this five times, and you'll have a 30 minute session consisting of 3 runs and 3 walks. Should be manageable.

Give that aw eek or two, then consider stepping up to 4 minutes of running, or drop the walk to 2 minutes, whichever you prefer. By doing this, you'll systematically increase the stress of training, but also adapt to it!

Good luck

Reply to fitnessdoc
Posted by: PVS | 2011/02/08

Probably nothing wrong with your lungs you are just unfit.

Reply to PVS
Posted by: comJamawaft | 2011/02/07

Reply to comJamawaft
Posted by: comJamawaft | 2011/02/05

Reply to comJamawaft

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