Copyright 2017. All Rights Reserved

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Winter Olympics and asthma

I am SO excited for the start of the Winter Olympics tomorrow night! I LOVE watching the opening ceremonies. No matter what country you live in, it's fun to watch your country walk in under your flag. I also like to see the different uniforms! (Although I do think Ralph Lauren designed some really crazy uniforms for the U.S. athletes this year. Let's put it this way-we'll be able to spot our athletes in a crowd!!)

I was looking at the schedule of events for all of the winter sports, and it made me wonder-how do the Olympic compete in winter??!! They're not just exercising in cold weather-they are competing at an intense level with other athletes from around the world. And everyone wants that Gold medal!

I don't do well out in the cold because cold temperatures are one of my asthma triggers. I wondered.... how many of the Olympic athletes have asthma? Medicine.Net has an article called "Asthma Common Among Olympic Athletes."   It says that 8% of Olympic athletes have asthma, that's about the same rate as the rest of the population. It says that "asthma is the most common chronic condition among Olympic athletes"

So, if Olympic athletes can compete at a world class level with asthma, we should be able to spend a little time snowboarding, skiing, and snowshoeing in the winter, right??!!

If cold temperatures are one of your triggers, just take a few precautions. Children's Hospital of Wisconsin recommends wearing a scarf over your nose and mouth to warm the air before you breathe it. They also list warning signs of when to get medical help for asthma:

Signs of a severe attack that require emergency care include:
  • Wheezing that does not improve after taking the bronchodilator or rescue medication.
  • Difficulty talking or playing.
  • Breathing that gets faster or harder. Children are having difficulty breathing if they are bending over to breathe, flaring their nostrils or raising their shoulders. If a child's lips or fingernails turn blue, go to an emergency room immediately.
Winter is a beautiful time to be outdoors and enjoy nature. Talk to your doctor about what precautions you may need to take. 

And don't forget to warm up with a little hot chocolate when you're done. In fact, there's a little place in Paris called Angelina. Their hot chocolate is to die for! It's like drinking a melted chocolate bar. Yum!!!!! Oh, that I was back in Paris right now!! I'm craving Angelina hot chocolate now!!


  1. Here in Poland was big discussion about that, because of race between our sportwoman (Justyna Kowalczyk) and her rival from Norway (Marit Byorgen, which had better statistics than Justyna). This second woman claimed, that she has asthma and use only inhalers. But her muscles looks like after old-fashioned steroids, used in asthma in the 1960's and 1970's, so she use them (I'm sure!) but if she has asthma, I'm the pope! :)
    Greetings from south Poland - now we have sun and 32 F.

    1. Haha. I'm sure there are other athletes who claim to have asthma so they can use the medication.....

      I have also heard of school kids using asthma as an excuse so they DON'T have have to exercise.

      I tell their teachers to get a note from that student's doctor that says that they have asthma. And to come up with a treatment plan

      Too bad people use asthma as an excuse, and cause problems for those of us that REALLY do have asthma and struggle to breathe :(

  2. I agree. Asthma should not prevent you from living a full life. However, you should take extra precautions to keep you from having an attack, such as wearing a scarf over your nose and mouth, like you said. Take a reliever medication also at least 10 minutes before going out in a cold weather, and when you do go out, make sure have someone else to take care of you in case you suffer from an asthma attack. Most importantly, talk to your doctor about it.

    Jessica Finley