How to Get Rid of Runner’s Cough
Running is a popular form of exercise that offers numerous health benefits. However, one common issue that many runners face is a persistent cough, often referred to as “runner’s cough.” This cough can be bothersome and even interfere with your running routine. Fortunately, there are several ways to alleviate and prevent runner’s cough. In this article, we will explore some effective strategies to get rid of runner’s cough and answer common questions related to this issue.
Causes of Runner’s Cough:
Runner’s cough is primarily caused by irritation of the airways during running. This irritation can be triggered by various factors, including:
1. Dry air: Running in dry and cold environments can lead to dryness in the airways, causing irritation and coughing.
2. Allergens: Exposure to allergens like pollen, dust, or pollution while running can trigger coughing in susceptible individuals.
3. Acid reflux: Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can cause acid from the stomach to flow back into the esophagus and irritate the airways, leading to a cough.
4. Exercise-induced bronchoconstriction: Some individuals have hyper-responsive airways that constrict during exercise, causing coughing and wheezing.
Effective Ways to Get Rid of Runner’s Cough:
1. Hydrate: Staying hydrated helps to keep your airways moist and reduce irritation. Drink water before, during, and after running to prevent dryness in your throat and lungs.
2. Warm-up and cool-down: Properly warming up and cooling down before and after running can help reduce the intensity of coughing. Gradually increase your pace at the beginning and end of your run to minimize stress on your airways.
3. Wear a scarf or mask: Covering your mouth and nose while running in cold or polluted environments can help filter the air you breathe, reducing irritation and coughing.
4. Use a humidifier: Running indoors with a humidifier can add moisture to the air and prevent dryness in your airways. This can be particularly useful during winter months when indoor heating systems tend to dry out the air.
5. Manage acid reflux: If acid reflux is contributing to your runner’s cough, try avoiding large meals before running and elevate the head of your bed at night to reduce symptoms. Consult a healthcare professional for appropriate medication if needed.
6. Consult a healthcare professional: If your runner’s cough persists or worsens despite trying these remedies, it is advisable to seek medical advice. A healthcare professional can evaluate your symptoms and provide further guidance.
Q: Can I continue running if I have runner’s cough?
A: It is generally safe to continue running with a runner’s cough as long as the cough is not severe or accompanied by other concerning symptoms. However, it is important to listen to your body and adjust your running routine accordingly. If the cough becomes too bothersome or if you experience difficulty breathing, it is best to take a break and consult a healthcare professional.
Q: Can over-the-counter cough medicines help with runner’s cough?
A: Over-the-counter cough medicines may provide temporary relief, but they do not address the underlying cause of the cough. It is recommended to try the aforementioned remedies first before relying on medications. If the cough persists, it is advisable to consult a healthcare professional for appropriate treatment options.
Q: Can I prevent runner’s cough?
A: While it may not be possible to completely prevent runner’s cough, there are steps you can take to minimize its occurrence. These include staying hydrated, running in well-humidified environments, avoiding allergens, and properly warming up and cooling down before and after running.
In conclusion, runner’s cough can be a bothersome issue for many runners. However, with the right strategies and precautions, it is possible to alleviate and prevent this condition. By following the tips provided in this article and seeking professional advice if needed, you can enjoy your running routine without the annoyance of a persistent cough.