For Student Athletes with Asthma

You can still play your favorite sports at school and just for fun as long as your asthma is well managed and well controlled. In fact, there are many famous athletes who have asthma like:

  • Jerome Bettis - Professional football player
  • Bruce Davidson - Olympic equestrian
  • Nancy Hogshead - Olympic medallist
  • Jim "Catfish" Hunter - Professional baseball player
  • Jackie Joyner-Kersee - Olympic medallist
  • Dennis Rodman - Professional basketball player
  • Jim Ryun - Olympic medallist
  • Isaiah Thomas - Professional basketball player
  • Amy VanDyken - Olympic medallist
  • Dominique Wilkins - Professional basketball player

Here are some quick tips to keep your asthma under control and keep you on the playing field:

  • Start with a 15-minute warm-up to let your lungs adjust to the bigger demand for air
  • In cold weather, cover your mouth and nose with a scarf to help warm the air before it gets to your lungs
  • Stay away from triggers that may make your asthma worse (for example, don’t exercise outdoors when pollen counts are high if pollen is a trigger for you)
  • End with a 15-minute cool-down
  • Follow your asthma action plan about using medication before or after exercise.  If you’re on a team, be sure your coach has a copy of your plan

Remember it is important to stay in shape. When you're in good shape your lungs are in good shape too! There are lots of ways to have fun, play sports and exercise. Find a way that works for you and tell your doctor, they will help make sure you have the best plan and the best medicine.

Download an informational card on playing sports with asthma (PDF)


Asthma for Athletes Chart
sample informational card