Physical activity and weight loss can help you breathe easier when you have obstructive sleep apnea. It’s time to move!
You’ve heard it time and time again: An active lifestyle is important for overall good health. But did you know that physical activity and weight loss can also help you breathe better when you have obstructive sleep apnea?
Less weight: more air passes
When you’re overweight, you’re more likely to have extra tissue in the back of your throat that can block your breathing while you sleep. Weight loss decreases the number of times your breathing is interrupted each night. This means you sleep better, which helps you stay awake during the day.
Bonus: losing weight can help lower your blood pressure — important for anyone with obstructive sleep apnea — and improve your quality of life.
You don’t have to be athletic to be active
Adding more physical activity to your daily life is a great way to lose excess weight. However, adding some activity to your regular routine can help fight obstructive sleep apnea whether you end up losing weight or not.
One of the best types of activity to add to your lifestyle is aerobic exercise. That is, exercise that uses more oxygen and makes your heart beat faster than normal.
Here are some tips to get started:
1 You don’t need to spend hours on a treadmill. Try to take a few short, brisk walks spread out over the week.
2 Exercise with a friend. This keeps you accountable and on track.
3 Take the stairs when you can. It’s a good way to get your heart rate up.
4 Park at the back of the car parks. By adding a few steps here and there, you can easily increase your activity level.
5 Find an activity you enjoy. Don’t like to run? Try going to the swimming pool instead. Don’t want to exercise alone? Find a group dance class or organize a lunchtime walking group with a few co-workers.
How much exercise should you do to breathe better?
Aim for at least 150 minutes of physical activity per week. Start slow to prevent injury and increase the number of minutes of physical activity per week at a higher intensity.
Incorporating more activity into your life has many health benefits. Not only does physical activity help fight obstructive sleep apnea, but it can also boost self-esteem, improve overall mood, and reduce the risk of many chronic diseases.
* Presse Santé strives to transmit medical knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE can the information given replace medical advice.