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.
Yeap. The only way to make me care about a health threat is to show me how it harms the brain (which it turns out most health threats do; even stress does by killing brain cells with cortisol) and when I found out that excessive refined sugar lowers your levels of brain-derived neuro-trophic factor, cutting right down on the remaining refined sugars was easy.
I don't miss it at all, but I might be weird. I've never had much of a sweet tooth. I only really miss yoghurt and Alpen porridge (I refuse to let replacement sweeteners pass my lips) but I've even gotten used to having no ketchup, I've re-sensitised my tongue so I can experience food properly without it now.
I do have more stable energy levels now and don't have to nap in the day, but I don't know how much of that is the diet change and how much is the exercise, which I started soon before that.
I started getting mild knee pain four days ago, probably due to an abrupt transition from running half flat and half down hill to running the same distance half flat and half up hill. I didn't realise the incline makes such a difference to joints, I assumed that if my cardiovascular system could handle it, the rest of my body was probably ready too. Clearly not!
I don't know what's actually happening inside them yet because I haven't been able to see my doctor, but I've been elevating them, icing them and doing the recommended exercises, stopped doing squats, and I took one's complete rest and then yesterday and today I powerwalked on the flat instead. Now there's just the occasional twinge. If tomorrow there's no discomfort at all, can I carefully re-introduce running (flat only) or give it a few more days, if I want it to heal completely before continuing?
I don't want to extrapolate from advice given for injuries that have been ignored or are severe and end up losing more fitness than absolutely necessary. I don't have access to ellipticals, treadmills or swimming water so not being able to run is a big problem for my fitness.
More than one study has found that organic fruit and vegetables have significantly more vitamin C than non-organic ones. When I was doing my A Levels I tested this on some orange juice and found for myself that the organic juice had almost three times as much vitamin C as an otherwise equivalent non-organic product, which is the same difference the peer reviewed research found.
European research I remember reading about found that men who ate the least organic foods had the lowest quality sperm. Worrying considering most people eat none, whereas our grandparents ate nothing else.
Organic milk is also better because it's not got antibiotics in and the cows are guaranteed to have a good diet. One study reported that children who drink exclusively organic milk have a lower rate of allergies than those who drink non-organic or a mixture of both, but just the one study and I didn't look into it much so more research should be done. That's a pretty important suggestion to investigate as allergies are becoming so much more common.
Then there's the fact that organic meat has a different composition of fat to non-organic meat. The ratios of the various kinds of fat in our diets are very important not just for heart health but for our brains and moods.
Thanks everyone, sorry to be a bit slow back. I think my concerns were unfounded. A few days ago I went the harder way round my block, which I haven't done since I started, and I was impressed by how much better I did. So I am improving afterall, it's just not easy to judge progress without a treadmill or gadgets to measure any aspect of my run except time.