Can you be a cheerleader if you have asthma? Probably. Don’t let asthma discourage you from trying out for the cheer squad if you want to be a cheerleader. You just need to talk to a doctor and do some careful research and planning. Asthma is not a condition to take lightly, so if you have asthma, talk to your doctor before you try out for the team. If you aren’t sure if you have asthma but think you might, definitely discuss your condition with a doctor to see how you can treat it and what activities she/he recommends you avoid, if any. Usually, however, asthma won’t keep you from participating in the events you enjoy. In fact, many athletes in all kinds of sports, like dance, basketball, volleyball, track, etc. have asthma. Many of these athletes do more than just participate in their sport. The record books are full of athletes with asthma, like Olympic champions Jackie Joyner Kersey (track), Amy Van Dyken (swimming), Justine Henin (tennis), and basketball star Dennis Rodman, to name a few. So if you are an athlete with asthma, know that you aren’t alone. It is common, and it doesn’t have to stop you. The thing those accomplished athletes have in common, other than skill and work ethic, is that they stay safe by being prepared. Having asthma definitely shouldn’t keep you from considering cheerleading. It’s not an automatic “no.” It just means you need to seek professional advice before moving forward and take extra precautions. For example, you’ll need to make sure the coach knows you have asthma so she/he can help if you have any problems during a game, competition, or practice. You also need to make sure you bring your inhaler with you to every practice, game, and competition. Most importantly, you need to listen to your body. Only you know what is really going on, so if the coach is pushing you through a conditioning session, don’t be afraid to speak up if you need to take a break. Do you or someone you know have asthma? What is your advice for cheerleading with asthma?