Some people might think that once an individual has asthma, then playing sports is out of the question. The truth is, many known athletes today are suffering from this illness, but they have never let it dictate their lifestyle.
Popular Athletes with Asthma
Track and field star, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, was diagnosed with asthma during her freshman year at UCLA. At the time, she was playing track and basketball. Her tough workout triggered her asthma. This then resulted in the school finding out about her condition, which caused her to lose her scholarship. This did not get Joyner down. She persisted playing track and continued to win three gold medals in the Olympics.
Another star athlete with asthma is Amy Van Dyken. She was diagnosed with the illness when she was six years old. At the suggestion of her doctor, Van Dyken took swimming lessons. Such an activity would help stretch her lungs. She then went on to compete professionally and earned a total of six Olympic gold medals.
Jerome Bettis, a popular NFL player, once suffered an asthma attack during a game in Florida. The athlete was treated with a nebulizer and a shot on the sidelines and, later on, went back to finish the match. His condition did not stop him from doing what he loved. By not letting asthma get in the way, he went on to play in the NFL for 13 seasons and won one Superbowl and a Rookie of the Year award.
How to Be a Successful Athlete, Even with Asthma
Athletes with asthma are successful in their chosen sports because of the focused exercise they undergo coupled with respiratory practices. If an asthmatic athlete trains more or exercises more, studies suggest that, over time, their respiratory system adapts for intermittent immunity to asthma. This suggests that exercise keeps lungs’ airways open, and prolonged training could help athletes get through entire games without suffering from shortened breath.