You probably know that
can cause breathing problems. So can kids with asthma play sports?
You bet they can! Being active and playing sports is an especially
good idea if you have asthma. Why? Because it can help your lungs
get stronger, so they work better.
Some athletes with asthma have done more than develop stronger
. They've played professional football and basketball, and
they've even won medals at the Olympic Games! Some sports are
less likely to bother a person's asthma. Golf and yoga are less
likely to trigger
, and so are sports like baseball, football, and gymnastics.
In some sports, you need to keep going for a long time. These
activities may be harder for people with asthma. They include
cycling, long-distance running, soccer, basketball, cross-country
skiing, and ice hockey. But that doesn't mean you can't
play these sports if you really like them. In fact, many athletes
with asthma have found that with the right training and medicine,
they can do any sport they choose.
But before playing sports, it's important that your asthma
is under control. That means you aren't having lots of symptoms
or flare-ups. To make this happen, it's very important that you
just like your doctor tells you to, even when you are feeling
Your doctor will also tell you some other things you can do to
avoid flare-ups. This may mean skipping outdoor workouts when there
is lots of pollen in the air, wearing a scarf or ski mask when you
play outside during the winter, or making sure you always have time
for a careful warm up and cool down.
Make sure your coach and teammates know about your asthma. That
way, they will understand if you need to stop working out because
of breathing trouble. It's also helpful if your coach knows
which steps to take if you have a flare-up. Listen to your body and
follow the instructions your doctor gave you for handling breathing
problems. And if you keep your asthma in good control, you'll
be in the game and not on the sidelines!
Elana Pearl Ben-Joseph, MD
Date reviewed: June 2007
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice,
diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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