Asthma & Sports: Can they Get Along?

November 7, 2012 by Mayank.

Filed under: People with Asthma.

Tags: Asthma and sports, allergy, people with asthma, asthmatic people, asthma flare ups, asthma control, generic Albuterol .

For the unenlightened, asthma and sports are two things that should never be mixed. People suffering from this respiratory condition are told to stay away from their favorite sport, usually with the warning that the slightest exertion could cause a life-threatening attack. The general picture that one retains in their mind is of a frail asthmatic individual, condemned to a life in the slow lane, haunted by the notion that even walking too fast could be debilitating for his health. And yet, the truth is very, very different, and certainly not all this bleak.

According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, 20% of elite athletes have asthma, as does 1 in every 6 Olympic athletes. You didn’t know that, did you? While not everybody suffering from asthma harbors the secret notion of being a world class athlete, the message that you can take away from these statistics is that playing sports and staying active is not just permissible; it’s desirable. Apart from keeping you fit and active, regular exercise can also strengthen the chest’s breathing muscle, helping the lungs work better…a fact that is of definite advantage to asthma patients.

Other than its physical value, exercise has emotional benefits as well. The body produces endorphins (chemicals that make you feel happier), and promote a feeling of general well-being. This is especially useful for people who are fighting mild depression and it also helps them sleep better.

Now, a question that a lot of people ask is “Are there some sports that are better than others for people with asthma?” For this, the answer is “Yes”. Sport like yoga, light biking, and golf are less likely to cause asthma flare ups. However, shorter track and field events, football, baseball, and gymnastics are also great options.

On the other hand, high endurance sports (such as cycling and long-distance running) or activities that demand intense energy output with very little rest time (like basketball and soccer) will probably be a lot more challenging for asthmatic people. The same is true for winter sports, such as ice hockey or cross-country skiing.

If you are determined to enjoy your favorite physical activity, there are a few precautions you must take. To begin with, you should not be suffering from a lot of flare-ups and your condition must be under control. This can be done by taking the prescribed medicines such asgeneric Albuterol regularly. Be sure to consult your doctor and keep him abreast of your plans to work out or play a sport. He is sure to give you a list of do’s and don’ts, proper breathing techniques, and diet recommendations (if required), which must be heeded and included in your action plan.

At the end of the day, there is no reason why you cannot participate in your favorite sport and have a good time, provided of course you seek proper medical counseling. That, along with medication and training, makes it possible for people with asthma to make the most of any activity they choose.

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