Asthma is a medical condition that affects the airways which makes it difficult to breathe. An inflammation occurs in the air passage which results in a narrowing of the airways that carry oxygen to the lungs.
For this reason, it can cause uncomfortable symptoms such as shortness of breath and chest tightness.
Asthma shouldn’t deter children, famous athletes that suffer with asthma but still manage to be world famous athletes include Paula Radcliffe, Bradley Wiggins and David Beckham.
Research shows that a third of children miss out on PE or other sport once a week due to asthma. However, despite common misconceptions exercise can actually be beneficial to children with this condition, if their asthma is under control.
How can problems be solved?
Some children require long term control medicine that has to be used in the long term. Others have quick relief medicine that can be used when flare ups occur, and should be carried at all times (or have access to it should it be needed). However, there are some ways to prevent problems:
- Skip outdoor work outs when pollen is high
- Wear a scarf when outside in the cold
- Breathing through the nose instead of mouth when exercising
- Make time for a careful warm up to get the body in to exercise easily
- Make time for a cool down
When doing sports, teachers of children should always be made aware of any medical conditions including asthma.
Stop exercising and take inhaler when:
- Gasping for air or very short of breath
- Tightness in chest
- Have trouble speaking in short sentences
How can exercise help?
By giving lungs a regular workout, it will cut back the risk of asthma symptoms. Studies show that 83% of parents who have children with asthma consider exercise to be good for their child’s asthma in general. Exercise improves how well lungs work so can improve stamina in the long run.
Exercise boosts the immune system so asthma is less likely to be triggered by coughs and colds. Exercise lifts moods, this is helpful as research shows that feeling stressed puts individuals at a higher risk of asthma symptoms.
Which sports are best?
As long as symptoms are under control, children can enjoy any type of exercise. Golf, yoga and gentle biking are less likely to trigger any asthma flare ups.
Rounder’s or exercise with rest time in between bursts of activity are often successful. Badminton and table tennis often require less running around then other racket sports, so are often favoured. Walking is very asthma-friendly as it is a good form of exercise but does not require much exertion.
Endurance sports may be difficult due to them demanding lots of energy, such as cycling and football.
Cold weather sports can be difficult such as cross country. However, this does not mean that your child cannot still enjoy them, they should simply have proper training and the right dose and use of medication.
How Can Active Superstars help?
Active Superstars offer sporting opportunities to all abilities, and we take into consideration all children have different needs. We always ask for medical information when booking a holiday course or academy, and your school will make our staff aware of any medical information when we are teaching them.
We believe that every child should be given the same chance, and so we try to make every child involved whilst understanding their limits.