Will My Asthma Keep Me From Playing Sports?

October 2, 2012 by Teresa.

Filed under: Managing Asthma.

Tags: asthma and sports, asthma, sports, asthma sufferers, jackie joyner-kersee, manage the asthma, diagnosed with asthma, asthma control, asthma treatment drugs, generic singulair 10mg, asthma condition, .

What do Jackie Joyner-Kersee, a four-time Olympian and three-time gold medalist, and Dennis Rodman, an NBA championship basketball player, have in common? Besides being famous sport's stars, they were both diagnosed with asthma. That's right! They are just two great examples of how asthma did not keep them from enjoying sports. Clearly, they went on to excel.

You may not have aspirations to be a professional athlete, but you can still benefit from being active and playing sports. Staying fit is just as important for asthma sufferers, maybe even more so, as it is for people without asthma. In fact, if you have asthma, staying at a healthy weight and being involved in activities that help to strengthen the breathing muscles of your chest are both very important. Your lungs will work better as a result. That will go a long way toward helping you manage your asthma.

Jackie wasn't diagnosed with asthma until her freshman year at UCLA. At that time she was attending on scholarship, playing basketball, and running track. When she started having trouble breathing, she was afraid to let anyone know. She didn't want anything to mess up her opportunities. Later, even after having been diagnosed, she sometimes didn't take her medication as required. Eventually, she suffered a very serious attack, finally accepting that she had to be serious about asthma if she wanted to be a sport's star but also stay safe.

There are some sports, like yoga, golf, baseball, and even shorter track and field events that are better suited to people with asthma. Other sports like basketball, soccer, cold weather sports, and long distance running may be more of a challenge.

Before getting involved in sport's activities, your asthma needs to be under control. If you are having a lot of flareups, waiting until things have calmed down for a period of time is recommended. To be fully prepared, an action plan should be in place and asthma treatment drugs such as generic Advair Diskus should be taken as prescribed even after things are under control. Coaches and teachers must be involved by having a clear understanding of the action plan and what to expect when an asthma attack occurs.

There may be cases in which the asthma condition overrules participating in the sport. If you are highly susceptible to environmental irritants, then being involved in a game that takes place in a polluted location may not be a wise choice. Learning to listen to your body and paying attention to your particular signs and symptoms is crucial, making it much more likely that sports and asthma do not have to be mutually exclusive.

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