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Out of Breath? It May Not Mean You're Out of Shape

By Sara Butler

Feeling short of breath when you're not doing something demanding can feel very frightening. It's uncomfortable and probably leaves you wondering if everything is OK. If you are experiencing shortness of breath that doesn't have anything to do with how in shape or out of shape you are, then it may be caused by something else. Here are a few things that may be able to explain why you're experiencing problems breathing.


Many people who suffer from anxiety experience episodes where it may feel uncomfortable to breathe. This is usually due to stress as the body enters "fight or flight" mode. This increases the body's heart and respiratory rate, making you feel as if you're short of breath.

It's not uncommon for bouts of anxiety to lead to episodes of shortness of breath that can last anywhere from 10 minutes to a half-hour. If it's becoming an issue for you, then make sure to discuss it with your healthcare provider.

Asthma or Allergies

Allergies are not fun -- and if you have allergies, then there's a good chance you may have asthma too. That's because allergic responses to things in the environment can cause your airway to constrict and make you feel as if you are out of breath.

If you have asthma, then you may also notice a wheezing sound when you exhale, which is the constricted airways in the lungs making a funny sound as air rushes out. It can make you feel quite uncomfortable and as if you simply can't catch your breath. If you experience these issues, you really should be seen by a medical professional.


When your body doesn't have enough red blood cells to transport oxygen, then your lungs and heart have to work harder. That means that you may feel as if you're short of breath easily, as well as tired and even dizzy. Anemia can be identified with a simple blood test.

When You Have Shortness of Breath

So, what should you do when experiencing shortness of breath? First and foremost, simply slow down. Take calm, deep breaths and try to center yourself. This will help tamp down the fight or flight response and help you to get your breathing under control.

See a healthcare provider to find out why you're experiencing these symptoms too, to rule out anything serious such as illness, heart problems, or anemia.

Being out of breath can be scary at times, so don't ignore it. 

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Katy, Tex.

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