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.". http://www.asthmafoundation.org.au/What_is_asthma.aspx. 
  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.". http://www.asthmaaustralia.org.au/files/medications.pdf. 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. http://web.archive.org/web/20060826155336/http://www.racgp.org.au/cmi/pucsalbu.pdf. Retrieved October 11, 2011. 
  7. "Australia, Asthma. A Guide to using asthma medications and Devices. Asthama Australia.". March 2011. http://www.asthmaaustralia.org.au/files/medications.pdf. Retrieved October 11, 2011.