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Exercise as it relates to Disease/The use of Salbutimol (Ventolin) in controlling Asthma when doing Cardio-respiratory exercise

What is Asthma?Edit

Over 2 million Australians are diagnosed with asthma.[1] Asthma is a chronic respiratory disease that occurs when the bronchi passageway of the lungs narrow causing breathing to become difficult.[2] Hyper responsiveness of the bronchi smooth muscles lead to the cause of asthma.[3]

Asthma when participating in Cardio exercise?Edit

Asthma can be a limiting factor for not participating in physical activity.[4] All asthmatics are encouraged to participate in normal physical activity once their asthma is controlled.[4]

If an asthmatic has asthmatic episode whilst exercising this is called Exercise Induced Asthma (EIA) or Bronchospasm (EIB)[5] 40%- 90% of all asthmatics will suffer from EIA during their life.[5]

The key to participating in exercise is control.

Exercise and VentolinEdit

Ventolin (salbutamol) is a short acting Beta2-agonist which causes the smooth muscles surrounding the Bronchi to relax.)[3] Ventolin takes approximately 4 minutes to relieve the effects of an asthmatic episode and lasts between 6–8 hours making it suitable for controlling Asthma whilst exercising.[6] It is recommend that Ventolin be used 10–15 minutes before exercise.[3] It is also recommended that you use Ventolin whilst exercising if you start to feel an onset of an asthma attack. (See symptoms above) [4]

How to control your Asthma whilst exercising?Edit

-Preparing for exercise[3]

  • Ensure your asthma is well managed, by having a asthma action plan in case of an attack
  • Use Ventolin 10–15 minutes before exercise
  • Commence physical activity with a light warm up consisting of rhythmic light exercise (walking or jogging) followed by stretching.
  • Ensure you are well hydrated before exercising.

What to do if you have an asthmatic episode whilst exercising?[7]Edit

  • Stop what you are doing and remain calm
  • Follow you Asthma Action Plan devised by your local GP
  • If you don’t have an asthma action plan, take 4 separated puffs of your inhaler and wait 4 minutes.
  • If the inhaler has not relieved your asthma take another 4 separated puffs and wait another 4 minutes.
  • If your reliever still has no effect call an ambulance.
  • Remain calm and continue to use your inhaler 4 puffs every 4 minutes.
  • If your asthma is controlled again recommence the physical activity

Side Effects of using Ventolin[1]Edit

Major side effects Minimum side effects
* Difficulty breathing * Drowsiness and Dizziness
* Swelling or sever rash * Difficulty breathing
* Fast or irregular heart beat * Tingling or numbness in Hands or Feet
* Pounding heart beat * Sore puffy eyes
*Trembling or shakes
What to do? What to do?
*If any of these symptoms occur go to your nearest medical emergency centre immediatly *You should mention these symptoms to your doctor on you next visit

For more information about Asthma visit the following websites:
Asthma Foundation of Australia
Exercise and Sport Science Australia Asthma Position Statement
National Asthma Council Australia


  1. a b "Foundation, The Asthma Foundation. Understanding Asthma. Asthma Foundation Australia.". 
  2. Durstine, J Larry, et al. ACSM's- Exercise Management for Persons with Chronic Diseases and Disabilities. s.l. : ASCM, 2009. pp. 143-149. 0-7360-7433-3.
  3. a b c d Australian Association for Exercise and Sports Science position statement on Exercise and Asthma. Morton, Alan R and Fitch, Kenneth D. 2011, Vol. 14, pp. 312-316. 0.1016/j.jsams.2011.02.009.
  4. a b c Exercise-induced Bronchocontriction and the drug used in its treatment. Vidal, Carmen and Armisen, Margarita. 2, Vol. 3, pp. 1-10..
  5. a b "Australia, Asthma. A Guide to using asthma medications and Devices. Asthama Australia.". Retrieved March 2011. 
  6. "Australia, Pfizer. Salbutamol Inhalation Solution. The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners.". January 16, 2006. Archived from the original on August 26, 2006. Retrieved October 11, 2011. 
  7. "Australia, Asthma. A Guide to using asthma medications and Devices. Asthama Australia.". March 2011. Retrieved October 11, 2011.