The nature of an athlete means that they will always push their body to the limit, with breathing demand increasing as a result.
Dr Kippelen, Senior Lecturer (Exercise Physiology) of Brunel University London suggests that youth football players could be jeopardising their health and sporting potential because they aren’t getting tested for asthma early enough in their career.
Professional senior footballers and Team GB athletes are tested for asthma, so Dr Kippelen is asking why not the same for younger players.
Most activity during a football match is sub-maximal, but intermittent sprints are supra-maximal. This pattern of exertion places extreme demands upon a footballer’s breathing because these activities are anaerobic and generate high levels of lactic acid. Lactic acid stimulates breathing to increase as part of a compensatory strategy to overt fatigue of other muscles, such as the legs, which inevitably will impair performance.
POWERbreathe IMT (Inspiratory Muscle Training) would be a useful addition to youth football training as not only will it help to alleviate the demand and stress on their lungs by improving the strength and stamina of their breathing muscles, but also because it’s drug-free it can be used by people with asthma, and in studies IMT improved symptoms of asthma by up to 75% in 3 weeks.