ASTHMA AND SPORTS

Bronchial asthma is a very common disease. According to researches, from 250 to 500 million people in the world suffer from this illness. On average, the incidence of asthma doubles every 2-3 decades, and therefore there is nothing strange in the fact that recent years have witnessed lots of athletes with asthma. That, however, does not prevent them to set records and become Champions.

Unfortunately, not all people are properly informed about this aspect of modern life, like the relationship between asthma, physical culture and sports. We repeatedly observe opposite views on this point: some teachers of physical education strongly objected to teaching children with asthma and demanded the total exemption from PE classes, the others, on the contrary, did not give any concessions and demanded the children with asthma followed the total school program. We not even talking about the fact that most coaches in all sport directions are not happy to see asthmatic “athletes” in the team.

That’s we wanted to talk about. In 1989 there was published a curious book “ASTHMA AND EXERCISE”, which was full of bright examples of how many athletes, in spite of their illness — asthma, have achieved outstanding results in sports and even became Olympic Champions. But often,unfortunately, clinicians and scientists working in medicine sphere actually do not give an adequate attention to this problem So, briefly, let’s explain what you need to know about asthma and sports patients themselves, physical education teachers and coaches.
asthma and sportsAsthma is a serious disease that requires constant medical monitoring and supportive treatment.

Asthma, treated correctly, is well controlled and does not threaten the patient’s life. Having met such a person in the gym or on the tennis court, you will not even suspect about his illness. Of course, such a patient should not worried about.

Asthma that is not treated or treated inproperly, poorly is poorly controlled and could have a tragic end. In this case, this asthma is an easy thing to learn: poor tolerance of physical exercises, shortness of breath which occurs even when lifting some floor stairs. In the most serious cases of the disease we observe intermittent breathing, the pale face and blue lips. Of course, such a person should be advised go to the doctor as soon as possible.

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In the beginning asthma generally does not show any sign and it is possible that an adult or a teenager may start an active exercise,having noa clue about his illness. However this is a very rare case, as in recent years the disease has become “younger”, and doctors recognize asthmatics almost from the first years of life.
Therefore, many patients or their parents are looking for the rescue in physical education and sports, believing sincerely that the regular physical exercise can relieve their asthma symptoms. We can say directly that it is a myth. No sport and exercise cannot cure asthma. The above mentioned book shows cases of death from asthma, when athletes showed great results. That all happened because they did not understand a simple truth: “Sport can not replace drugs as well as medicines will not replace physical education and sport!” But regular exercise will help patients to be fully human from the point of view of physical health. And in some cases sports help to reduce the number of medicines consumed. However, this leads, as a rule, to the deterioration of lung function, but the patients who become athletes, do not notice this condition.

Why is this happening?

The fact is that regular exercise develop human endurance to emerging or existing violations of the airway. It is a well-known fact that healthy people feel muscle pain next day, after an intense physical exercise This happens due to the fact that during intense resistance exercise the muscles need more oxygen and the body switches to the anaerobic path of glycolysis, which leads to the accumulation of muscle lactic acid, which causes these symptoms. Therefore, if we increase physical activity gradually, the muscles will gradually adapt. But if the athlete asthmatic relying on his good physical form, canceled medication prescribed by the doctor, hewon’t avoid problems: starting from severe attack after a workout to sudden death from fatal asphyxiation.

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Here is the conclusion: sport and asthma are compatible thinds, but it does not mean you can replace asthma treatment with physical training. If a sports team meets new asthmatic person, the first thing that must be done by the coach is to send him to a functional examination of the lungs and medical advice. This is especially important before the upcoming competitions, because, essentially, all asthma medications — analogues of adrenaline — are considered to be doping. And of course, the unsystematic treatment and objective deterioration in the status of lung function before the competition, may force a patient to increase his asthma therapy, and then there will be problems with in conflict with the anti-doping Commission. This situation was already seen in sports practice. Therefore, athletes with asthma requires a plan of individual training and plan of individual treatment depending on the time of year.

ventolin-inhalerFor you it will be interesting to learn that there is an exact asthma grud used specifically by athlets. Ventolin is a drug of a short-time action, that will bring you relief immidiately. Generic name of Ventolic is Albuterol. Albuterol will bring you a prompt relief and will deprive you of suffering. It relaxes your airways, allows spasm to disappear, thus oxygen gets an easy access to you lungs, that is why this drug can be very useful for athletes and sportsmen. Some bodybuilders take this preparate to improve their helth and to achieve better sports results. Albuterol working principal is stimulating beta-2-receptors. As you know human body has a large number of variousreceptors, but the drug acts directly on exactly these ones.

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And the last thing we would like to say: what sports are preferred for patients with asthma, and what are not desirable. The best kinds of sports are the ones developing the lungs and improving ventilation. These sports include: athletics, sports games, all kinds of martial arts. Swimming is good as a sport for asthma, but such a pity that it happens in overly chlorinated, and often saturated with microbes water pools. And of course, precautions should be taken to all winter sports, because everything connected with ice and snow can lead to hypothermia and deterioration of the disease. Well, in conclusion, we wish asthmatics of all regions and ages: Go in for sports, but don’t forget to visit the doctor!
Discuss with your doctor:

  • What kind of sports and exercises you’d better choose.
  • What precautions to take when performing exercises.
  • How to distinguish symptoms caused by allergens and pollutants of the air from asthma symptoms caused by physical strain.
  • To take or not to take medication before exercise.
  • How to act at the asthma attack during exercise.
  • Whether you should break classes at the attack of symptoms or not.
  • How to keep a diary and record the exercises you do, your progress, symptoms, medication you take.

You’d better write down the symptoms and the frequency of an inhaler usage during sports. It is important for your next conversation with the doctor. Together you will be able to develop an exercise plan that will allow you to achieve good sports results and to maintain your physical form!