There is a misconception that asthmatics cannot play sports. Asthma can make exercising more difficult, but many professional athletes manage their asthma on a daily basis in order to workout. Before starting a program, you should check with your doctor to make sure you take all necessary precautions.
First, it is vital that you take all of your medications. If you have frequent flare-ups, you are likely on a long-term controller medication. These are taken on a daily basis to help prevent bronchial tube inflammation. Whether your asthma is controlled or not, it is a good idea to always carry a fast acting inhaler, especially if you are an athlete. These are designed to reduce airway constriction. You may even consider taking your inhaler 15 minutes prior to working out to prevent breathing difficulties.
Weather also plays a role in sports and asthma. Warm, humid days are easier on your joints as well as your lungs. Although you may sweat more, the benefits may outweigh any discomforts. If it is cold and extremely dry outdoors, consider practicing indoors. Cold air causes airway inflammation and constriction, which can lead to an asthma attack. If you must exercise outdoors on a winter day, make sure that you perform extra stretches and warm-up properly.
Warm-ups are an important way to prepare your muscles, including the heart, for exercise. It also helps the blood flow to the lungs. Skipping warm-ups will increase the chances of breathing difficulties if you are asthmatic. If you experience chest tightness, wheezing, excessive coughing, or shortness of breath during your workout, stop immediately.
Also keep in mind that certain sports aggravate asthma more than other types of activities. Examples include basketball, football, and hockey. This does not necessarily mean that you cannot play these sports, but you must take extra precautions if you decide to play.