Breathlessness in the Ring: Managing Asthma as an Amateur Boxer
By Jackie Edwards
Getting the wind knocked out of you in the middle of a match is normal. Not being able to get afterward back afterwards? Not so much. Frequent breathlessness and dehydration are both signs that you may need to schedule an appointment with a doctor in order to get checked out for asthma. Boxing with asthma isn’t impossible, though, once you understand what you’re going through. 8% of Olympic athletes have reported continuing to seek out athletic excellence while coping with asthma. If they can manage it, then you can take a few steps to make sure it’s easier for you to get back into the ring.
Seek Out Treatment
Were you diagnosed with asthma when you were younger, or is your breathlessness a new condition? Either way, if you think you’re showing symptoms of asthma, you need to be diagnosed by a medical professional who can recommend treatments for you. Yes, there’s a stigma around using steroid-based medications while boxing. It’s either you talk to someone, though, or end up under-performing in the ring. Buck up and use an inhaler or the prescriptions that a doctor authorizes for you to use. You’ll feel better physically and mentally the next time you go toe to toe with an opponent.
Keep Your Gym Clean
Once you’ve talked with a doctor, you can start looking for solutions to asthma in your home. One of the best things you can do to prevent the trademark breathlessness is ensured that your home gym is clean. Mold in mats or other materials may make your asthma worse if they go untreated. Compound your asthma with an allergic reaction, and you could be out of the ring for months at a time. If you keep your gym and personal items clean, though, you’ll be taking an active step towards ensuring your wellness in the future.
Above all else, do what you can to stay active. You absolutely shouldn’t overwork yourself, but don’t let your fears about asthma take you away from a sport that you love. In many cases, exercising when diagnosed with asthma will, in fact, train your body to overcome some of the asthma’s symptoms. Partner this while the generally improved health that comes from regular exercise, and you’ll see that by getting back in the ring, you’ll actually be doing more to help your body adjust to its condition.
Boxing with asthma can be a trial. However, the condition is more common than you may think. Talk to a doctor, clean up your training space, and get back on your feet. Responsible care will ensure that asthma doesn’t keep you down.