Dec 18, 2014 • 3 min read
Having asthma, doesn’t mean you can’t play sports!
Being an asthma sufferer for most of my life, I’ve gone through just about every kind of treatment ever known. I’ve been hospitalized and placed in oxygen tents as a child and given adrenaline shots, along with some foul-tasting drugs. In case you’re not aware, the symptoms range from wheezing, coughing, and chest tightness, to shortness of breath.
Although many people might associate asthma with outdoor spring sports, cold, dry air in the winter, both indoors and out, can be a challenge for even the healthiest person; the air must be moist for us to breathe properly. In fact, exercise-induced asthma can affect even those who do not normally suffer from the condition. A University of New Mexico study found that 19 percent of ice hockey players were diagnosed with asthma and 11.5 percent with exercise-induced asthma (EIA). And it doesn’t just affect hockey players like me. The same study found that 22 percent of cold-weather Olympic athletes in 2000 were diagnosed with asthma, used an inhaler or both!
Here are 10 ways I keep on top of my asthma and in the hockey game, but these tips could really apply to any cold-weather athlete:
You know your own body better than anyone. If your symptoms are such that you’re struggling for each breath — or even if you just feel generally lousy — stay home and rest.
Finally, if you suffer from asthma, see your doctor. With proper diagnosis and treatment, asthma can be controlled. There is no reason you shouldn’t be able to enjoy a normal life, whether you play sports or not.
Warren Tabachnick has suffered from asthma and allergies since he was 4 years old. He manages to keep his condition under control and enjoy a decent quality of life. Published by permission of CrossIceHockey.com—Where Rec Hockey Lives. © 2014 Digital Media Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.