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Houston Sports Med Doc’s Exercise Tips For People With Asthma

Author: Rosemary Buckle, M.D.

If you or your child has asthma, you may feel like good exercise opportunities (that don’t end in bouts of gasping and wheezing) are hard to come by. While asthma does make exercise a little more difficult and complex, this condition certainly doesn’t have to keep you on the couch! In fact, quite a few world-class athletes have asthma. This list includes many names you probably recognize:

  • Peter Vanderkaay (U.S. swimmer, gold medalist at 2008 Beijing Games)
  • Dennis Rodman (NBA player)
  • Paula Radcliffe (Runner, Olympic gold medalist)
  • Jackie Joyner-Kersee (Basketball and track athlete, three-time Olympic gold medalist, and Sports Illustrated Greatest Female Athlete of the 20th century!)

Exercising With Asthma: Your Houston Sports Med Doc Tips

If you have asthma, you may find exercises that feature short bursts of energy are more enjoyable and rewarding for you than endurance sports like distance running, basketball and soccer. (Of course, you can look at the list of star athletes above to see that these sports certainly aren’t “off-limits!”) Great “short-burst” sports may include:

  • Wrestling
  • Baseball
  • Sprinting

There are some exceptions. Swimming, for example, is typically considered an endurance sport. However, because of the warm and humid climate we often have here in Houston, many people with asthma do quite well with swimming. If you want to work on building up your endurance, swimming is a great way to do it. Other tips:

  • Use medication before, during and after exercise as directed by your PCP or Houston sports medicine doctor.
  • If you have a cold, hold off on exercising, as this can make asthma attacks worse.
  • If the weather is cold or the air dry, consider exercising indoors – or cover your mouth and nose with a ski mask or scarf.
  • Listen to your body! If you need to stop, stop.

Schedule Your Appointment With a Houston Sports Medicine Physician

To schedule your appointment with a sports medicine physician in downtown Houston, call Houston Institute for Sports Medicine and Orthopedics at (713) 756-5546. You can also schedule your appointment online.
Please consult with your physician before undertaking any form of medical treatment or adopting any exercise program or dietary guidelines.