Alternate Day Fasting for asthma

Holy cow I think it works :D

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10/11/2012 at 10:40

These are very early days (I've been doing ADF for a week) so posting about it might seem premature, but I just had to share with people who'd be as excited as I am by a running gain. 

Quick background: I started running almost every day a few months ago, whenever was week two of the Olympics. Although I have undoubtedly been improving, until this week I'd still been having to take a break to catch my breath within a maximum of six and a half minutes. So progress has been very slow compared to that of runners without asthma or other breathing problems.

After watching the Horizon documentary Eat, Fast and Live Longer, and finding out upon further reading that among the many proposed health benefits of intermittent fasting is dramatically improved asthma within days (presumably due to the anti-inflammatory effects), I took on the Alternate Day Fasting style of fasting, which seemed to boast of the most impressive research results as far as I could tell.

To my enormous surprise, three days ago I was able to run for seven and a half minutes despite the fact that I hadn't broken that day's fast yet and so felt physically weaker and more mentally reluctant than ever before. In spite of the effects of low blood sugar, and using the same speed and running form as usual, I could run for a whole minute longer than what's been my maximum for several weeks because it was longer before I started gasping for breath. This couldn't have been the placebo effect because I was not expecting it. I was expecting to hate that run. When I stopped and looked at my stopwatch I was amazed at the time it was telling me I'd gone on for.

The next day I didn't have time to go outside before it was dark so I did star jumps and step exercises indoors instead, which I can't compare to anything as I don't usually do it. Then yesterday, again on a Fast Day but without feeling particularly hungry or rough this time, I ran without stopping for 10 and a half minutes! I could have gone on even longer as I wasn't even tired, but instead I opted to fully exert myself on purpose with a sprint at the end; again, the longest, most powerful sprint I've ever done.

That session's result could also not have been the placebo effect because I was very surprised when I realised I was breathing through my nose some of the time, which I've never been able to do on a run before (feels like instant suffocation to try), and when I realised there was no pain creeping up anywhere in my body. I didn't even know it was possible to run for more than a minute without subtle aches and pains and without your breathing feeling somewhat heavy and laboured. I assumed even non-asthmatics experienced that. My breathing felt gentle, my airways not sore, and as I noticed this I pushed myself to run even faster than usual. Still painless.

I am over the moon about this. My asthma was very severe as a child, I went through periods when I was forbidden to run at all because within two steps I would initiate a potentially fatal asthma attack. To be able to exercise without pain is something I never dreamed possible.

Today's a Feast Day, and I intend to see just how long I now have to run before I lose my breath, unless it takes so long I get bored. 

I'd love to hear from anyone else with asthma who's tried ADF. I've found a few mentions here but all about weight loss.

Edited: 10/11/2012 at 11:06

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