January 24, 2017

How to Reduce Anxiety and Stress with Meditation

Reset Your Mind and Eliminate Anxiety

by David Kekich

Taking care of your body goes a long way towards helping you cope with anxiety. The diet, exercise and supplementation routines mentioned in this issue of Home Cures That Work will better equip you to deal with the stresses placed on your body. A good diet and supplements help you cope with increased production of free radicals caused by stress. Exercise reduces stress and increases your cardiovascular ability to handle stress while increasing your antioxidant potential. Do you notice how often exercise keeps popping up? Exercise and diet are paramount. If you don’t like exercise, at least go out for regular brisk walks.

In addition, when faced with anxiety, make sure you get enough rest. Fatigue can definitely reduce your immune function and healing ability.

brain needs recovery timeBesides exercise, many physical relaxation techniques can manage the effects of your stress. A stress management relaxation technique designed by the Institute of HeartMath has raised DHEA (your master hormone) levels by 100% and reduced the stress hormone cortisol by 23% in just one month. Some of the best techniques are meditation and deep breathing. Did you ever notice how fast and shallow you breathe when you are stressed? It’s hard to breathe deeply and feel anxious or tense at the same time. Try it.

Meditation doesn’t just have to be for eastern mystics. Millions of Americans practice it, because its health benefits have been proven in many different studies. It’s not an escape, as some think. Meditation is a proactive practice that can enhance your life. It’s the equivalent of giving your mind an escape valve to blow off steam.

All meditation really means is to focus on one thing for an extended period of time. This allows your mind to reset itself and stop the vicious cycle of thinking about things that stress you out.

Focus separates peak performers from average performers, possibly more than any other attribute. It also builds energy. That’s why so many high profile leaders practice meditation. Meditation is anything that brings you to the moment and keeps you there. The more you meditate and focus on the “now,” the stronger you grow physically, mentally and emotionally.

Mainstream medicine is now beginning to take notice of meditation’s effects. For example, mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT), which is about 80% meditation, has been approved in Britain for use with people who have experienced three or more episodes of depression.

Your brain, just like your muscles, can be overworked, and it needs recovery time. Like many people who exercise, meditators in their mid-fifties tested twelve years biologically younger than non-meditators. Did you know meditation actually increases the thickness of your brain regions associated with attention and sensory processing? Here are some additional benefits:

20 reasons why meditation will reset your mind and eliminate anxietyMeditating…

  • Increases the growth of new brain cells..
  • Increases your IQ and Emotional Intelligence scores.
  • Increases your comprehension and productivity.
  • Improves your mental focus, memory and decision making.
  • Decreases stress, anxiety and depression.
  • Reduces free radicals, heart rate and biological aging.
  • Slows your breathing.
  • Improves quality of and ability to sleep.
  • Reduces your blood pressure.
  • Relaxes your muscles.
  • Reduces your risk of stroke or heart attack.
  • Gives your body time to eliminate lactic acid and other waste products.
  • Increases blood levels of DHEA.
  • Reduces anxiety and eliminates stressful thoughts.
  • Helps with clear thinking.
  • Helps with focus and concentration.
  • Reduces irritability.
  • Accelerates weight loss.
  • Reduces stress headaches.
  • Enhances overall health.

Wow! Is that incredible, or what? Review this list a few times. Let the benefits sink in. Who wouldn’t want better health, to think more clearly, to age more slowly and to be smarter?

The essence of meditation is to quiet your thoughts by focusing completely on just one thing. Unlike hypnosis, which is more of a passive experience, meditation is an active process that seeks to exclude outside distractions by concentrating all your thoughts on the subject of meditation.

In all cases, it helps if your body is relaxed. Get in a position that you can comfortably sustain for a period of time (20–30 minutes is ideal, but even five minutes helps a lot). If you choose, and if you are sufficiently supple, the lotus position may work best for you. Otherwise, sitting in a comfortable chair or lying on a bed may be equally effective.

A number of different focuses of concentration may be used. Which one you choose is a matter of personal taste. Some of these are detailed below:

  • Breathing: Focus on each breath in and out, breathing in through your nose on a count of seven, hold for a count of three, and breathe out through your mouth on a count of eight. Inhale and exhale completely, totally filling and emptying your lungs.
  • Focusing on an object: Completely focus on one object. Choose something pleasant and interesting, and then examine it in detail. Observe its color, shape, texture, etc.
  • Focus on a sound: Some people like to focus on sounds. The classic example is the Sanskrit word “Om,” meaning “perfection.”
  • Imagery: Create a mental image of a pleasant and relaxing place in your mind. Involve all your senses in the imagery: see the place, hear the sounds, smell the aromas, feel the temperature and the wind.

In all cases, keep your attention focused. If external thoughts or distractions wander in, let them drift out. If necessary, visualize attaching the thoughts to objects and then move the objects out of your attention.

I do this several times a day. To demonstrate how effective this simple technique can be, I did it last evening when I felt stress over an unpleasant task. When I started, my blood pressure was 117/75. Seven minutes later, I dropped it to 97/63. That’s simply amazing! Had I not taken my stress break, I would have eroded my health, functioning sub-par and frenzied. Instead, I reduced my anxiety and jumped back into my task with renewed energy and motivation.

This is not a one-time event. I get these results regularly. Taking several anxiety-busting breaks every day could help you avoid 80% of all medical conditions. That’s the medical profession’s conservative estimate of the toll anxiety and stress takes on you.

How often do you think what you are doing is so urgent and important that you can’t afford to take one minute off, let alone seven? Well, I’ve got news for you. The best time to take a anxiety break is when you think you don’t have the time. That’s exactly when proactive relaxation breaks are the most productive way to spend your time and reduce stress. Not only will they improve your performance, but you could avoid a nasty hospital stay, or even a premature death as a side effect.

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David-KekichDavid Kekich (Living Healthy to 120: Anti-Aging Breakthroughs) is President/CEO of Maximum Life Foundation that focuses on aging research, a 501(c)(3) corporation dedicated to curing aging-related diseases. For more information, visit: www.MaxLife.org. David contributes to our column Living Healthy to 120: Anti-Aging Breakthroughs. MaxLife is helping to make the anti-aging dream a reality with cutting edge Bio-Engineering research and products.

Breathing Your Way Out of Anxiety

Breathing Exercises to Overcome Panic Attacks

by Rob Fischer

 

Suddenly, inexplicably Shawna found herself overcome with fear. She knew she didn’t like flying, but for some reason this flight sent her over the edge. They had just taken off and were experiencing some heavy turbulence as they climbed to altitude.

Her heart raced as sweat trickled down the small of her back. She couldn’t catch her breath. Her hands trembled so much that she gripped the armrests until her knuckles turned white. She had difficulty swallowing. Momentarily, she thought she might lose consciousness…

belly breathing exercise to reduce anxietyWhat I have just described is a panic attack. When a person experiences a panic attack, their fear response is blown out of proportion to the situation in which they find themselves. Panic attacks, an intensified form of anxiety, can occur without warning. To make matters worse, once a person has had a panic attack, the fear of having another one heightens their anxiety possibly making such an attack a self-fulfilling prophecy.[1]

Anxiety, fear and panic are debilitating. They rob a person of their ability to respond to a situation rationally whether that situation is threatening or normal.

Often, when a person experiences a panic attack or acute anxiety, they feel like they can’t catch their breath. And the harder they try, the more difficult it becomes to breathe and the worse their panic attack spirals.

Dr. David Carbonell, Anxiety Coach, explains, “When you feel like you can’t catch your breath, it’s because you forgot to do something. You forgot to exhale. That’s right. Before you can take a deep breath, you have to give one away. Why? Because, when you’ve been breathing in a short, shallow manner (from your chest), if you try and take a deep inhale, you just can’t do it. All you can do is take a more labored, shallow breath from your chest.”[2]

Dr. Carbonell goes on to describe the “Belly Breathing Exercise” as a means to overcoming this common problem. Follow these guidelines to learn and master this exercise:[3]

  1. Place one hand on your belly, just above your waist and put your other hand on your chest over your breastbone. Your hands will provide you with biofeedback as you practice this exercise.
  2. “Open your mouth and gently sigh, as if someone had just told you something really annoying. As you do, let your shoulders and the muscles of your upper body relax, down, with the exhale.” Don’t completely empty your lungs, but relax the muscles of your upper body.
  3. Now close your mouth and relax for a few seconds.
  4. Keeping your mouth closed, inhale slowly through your nose by pushing your belly out. When you’ve inhaled a comfortable amount of air, stop inhaling.
  5. Pause briefly for whatever length of time you find comfortable. Because you’re taking larger breaths than you’re used to, it’s important that you breathe more slowly.
  6. Now repeat steps 2 through 5, establishing a rhythm to your breathing. Click here to view a short video demonstrating this breathing technique.

Shallow breathing contributes to anxiety and panic attacks. This practice of deliberate, deep breathing stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS), which helps place the body at rest.

Stress is at the core of most diseases and most of us live stressful busy lives which is commonly accompanied with shallow breathing. When we breathe shallowly, the body does not receive as much oxygen as it needs and it makes our muscles constrict. You can almost feel this tightening when you are stressed or tense. With deeper breathing you can turn the switch from high alarm to low in seconds. Furthermore, breathing deeply will increase the neurochemical production in the brain and release more of the ones that elevate moods and control pain.

We don’t usually think about breathing. Breathing, like our heartbeat, digestion, glands, and many other functions of the body are regulated by the autonomic nervous system. All of these functions are performed involuntarily and without thought. Among these, only breathing can be controlled voluntarily.[4]

the healing power of the breath 2In their book, The Healing Power of the Breath, Richard P. Brown, M.D. and Patricia L. Gerbarg, M.D. explain, “By voluntarily changing the rate, depth, and pattern of breathing, we can change the messages being sent from the body’s respiratory system to the brain. Messages from the respiratory system have rapid, powerful effects on major brain centers involved in thought, emotion, and behavior.”[5]

In addition to the belly breathing exercise above, another breathing exercise is called “Coherent Breathing.” This method calls for breathing at a rate of just five breaths per minute. You can achieve this rate by inhaling while counting to five and then exhaling also counting to five.[6] Again, this establishes a pattern of slow, deliberate breathing designed to calm the body and emotions.

Therese J. Borchard, associate editor for World of Psychology, writes, “Deep breathing has become increasingly important in my recovery from depression and anxiety because I recognize that shallow breath contributes to my panic.”

I would also be remiss in not telling you about Wholetones. Wholetones is a collection of therapeutic musical tones specially designed to put you at ease and alleviate anxiety and stress. These unique melodies can help your breathing rhythms and music itself is a powerful positive stimulant. You can listen to samples of these tunes online.

As Shawna tightly gripped the armrests of her seat on the plane, she remembered her breathing techniques. With difficulty at first, she closed her eyes and began slowly and deliberately exhaling deeply while counting to five, and then inhaling through her nose also to the count of five. Miraculously, within just a few breaths, she found herself in control again.

You don’t have to wait until you have a panic attack to practice these breathing techniques. (I pray that you never have a panic attack!) We all experience fear and anxiety at times, often accompanied by that telltale shortness of breath.

Remember these breathing exercises. They can be part of a bedtime routine that promotes calmness and relaxation. This type of daily practice makes it easier to use the deep breathing technique when other situations arise. Then put them into practice when you’re feeling overwhelmed, stressed, or anxious and breathe your way out of anxiety!

If you liked this article, then you’ll love these:

 

Rob_FischerRob Fischer has been writing professionally for over 35 years. His experience includes writing curricula, study guides, articles, blogs, newsletters, manuals, workbooks, training courses, workshops, and books. Rob has written for numerous churches, for Burlington Northern Railroad, Kaiser Aluminum, and Barton Publishing. He has also trained managers in effective business writing. Rob holds two Master’s degrees, both focused heavily on writing. Rob has published eleven books and serves as an editor and ghostwriter for other authors.

 

Sources:
[1] WebMD, “Panic Disorder,” February 11, 2014, http://www.webmd.com/anxiety-panic/guide/mental-health-panic-disorder.
[2] David Carbonell, Ph.D. Anxiety Coach, “A Breathing Exercise to Calm Panic Attacks,” July 11, 2015, http://www.anxietycoach.com/breathingexercise.html.
[3] David Carbonell.
[4] Therese J. Borchard, “3 Deep Breathing Exercises to Reduce Anxiety,” World of Psychology, 28 January 2015, http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2013/07/22/reduce-your-anxiety-this-minute-3-different-types-of-deep-breathing/.
[5] Therese J. Borchard.
[6] Therese J. Borchard.

Beating Multiple Chemical Sensitivities with Fitness

We all experience the noxious effects of chemicals in our environment, to some extent or another. We are regularly exposed to about 75,000 new chemicals that have been created in the last 50 years. And less than 10 percent of those have been tested for their toxicity.[1]

You might occasionally react to some toxic substance that you’ve been exposed to. Or, you may suffer chronically from multiple chemical sensitivities (MCS) from being bombarded with chemicals. Symptoms of MCS or reactions to exposure of a toxic substance may include:[2]

MCS reactions

how exercise helps multiple chemical sensitivityHow Exercise Helps

We may experience a reaction to the chemicals around us, or we may not. But we all carry a chemical load due to our exposure to heavy metals, pesticides, volatile organic compounds, and other chemicals that permeate our environment.[3] We absorb these substances through our food, water, breathing, and skin.

Regular exercise – especially aerobic — helps relieve MCS symptoms and prevent future occurrences. Below are just a few of the ways that physical activity helps to cleanse, bring balance and relieve stress. Exercise:

1. Detoxes the body.

Exercise induces sweating which helps remove toxic substances from the body.[4]

Many industrial toxins and pesticides leave the body only through the sweat glands. Click to Tweet.

As we exercise our body heats up, mobilizing the chemicals held in our fat. These toxins are then released and excreted through the pores.[5]

2. Oxygenates the blood.

Our respiratory system and every metabolic function in our bodies require oxygen. Exercise increases oxygen take-up.

Lack of exercise can result in oxygen-depleted blood, which is typical of patients with cancer and other chronic illnesses. Click to Tweet.

Many toxic waste materials in the body can only be neutralized through oxidation, which requires adequate oxygen in the blood.[6]

3. Removes waste through the lymphatic system.

The lymphatic system bathes the cells and carries away the “garbage.” There is no pump in the body to flush the lymphatic system.[7] Instead this requires movement and breathing deeply from the diaphragm for this to occur.[8] Exercise accomplishes this masterfully.

4. Relieves stress.

Many of the symptoms of stress mirror those of MCS and stress exacerbates the effects of MCS.[9] When under stress, our bodies secrete stress chemicals like cortisol and adrenalin. Unless we eliminate these stress chemicals, they cause serious problems in our bodies. Physical exercise is one of the best ways to get rid of these toxic stress chemicals.

5. Speeds up the metabolism.

As the metabolism speeds up, toxins are expelled from the body more rapidly and efficiently. Also, exercise moves food through the digestive tract more quickly, thus eliminating problems like constipation and other intestinal issues, which hinder the lymphatic system’s ability to function properly.[10]

Physical exercise offers so many healthful benefits! In addition to the above, it improves the body’s energy production, releases feel-good endorphins, lowers blood sugar and blood pressure, lowers LDL cholesterol, while boosting HDLs, and supports the immune system. Just rattling off all these benefits makes me want to go out and exercise, so I think I will!

Tips for Exercising with MCS

Here are 9 tips for exercising with a view to relieving, minimizing and preventing MCS:

1. Choose an aerobic exercise you enjoy.

There are so many to choose from including: walking briskly, running, jogging, hiking, cross-country skiing, snow-shoeing, bicycling, Jazzercise or some other aerobic dance, rowing, swimming, etc.

2. Exercise outside in a non-toxic setting.

Even if your home has filters, a non-toxic park or other outdoor setting is probably freer from toxins. Exercising outdoors seems to speed the recovery of many MCS patients.[11] Avoid exercising near traffic or in a heavy industrial area. Watch air quality reports and avoid exercising outdoors when the air quality is particularly poor.

3. Stay hydrated.

Drink plenty of filtered water from a BPA-free water bottle. Hydration is an important part of the cycle for metabolic processes and sweating.

4. Exercise in clothes and equipment free of offending chemicals.

Also, wash your clothes with a non-toxic laundry soap.

5. Eat organic foods.

Organic foods should contain fewer harmful toxins like pesticides and fertilizers. They also tend to be richer in nutrients and minerals to power you through your exercise routines.

6. Practice proper breathing.

Many people are unaccustomed to breathing deeply from their diaphragm. Exercising can help with this skill. Consciously develop a deep, breathing rhythm as you engage in your physical activity.[12]

7. Exercise to a sweat and shower right after.

Sweating helps detox the body, but it’s important to shower afterward to remove the toxins from your skin. Otherwise they may be reabsorbed. Also, shower rather than bathe in order to fully wash contaminants off your body.[13]

8. Replenish your electrolytes.

In addition to expelling toxins, sweating also expends important minerals like magnesium, sodium and potassium. Replenish these with fruit or make your own electrolyte drink.

how to use a sauna9. Follow up your exercise in the sauna.

An infrared sauna is best and supplements exercise with additional ability to extract toxins from the body through the pores.[14]

Drink 12 oz. of water and then enter the sauna immediately after completing your exercise. Begin with about 10-15 minutes. If you experience any discomfort or dizziness, leave promptly. If you do fine for 2 weeks at 15 minutes, increase to 20 minutes if you wish. If you have no ill effects at all in the sauna, you can gradually increase to a maximum of 45 minutes (increasing the time by not more than 5 minutes each week). Put a small towel on the bench where you sit so your sweat does not contaminate the sauna. Try to sauna once per day at least 5 to 6 days per week. Upon leaving the sauna, drink another 12 oz. of water to avoid a headache. Then, shower after the sauna. Beware of public saunas that may be cleaned with toxic chemicals.

Regular aerobic exercise is one of the key factors for recovery, minimizing and preventing MCS and maintaining overall health. Exercise provides a combination of heat and sweating, oxygen, increasing metabolic rate and reduced gut transit time to encourage detox and heal from MCS. Find an exercise you enjoy and begin this week to enjoy its many benefits!

If you liked this article, then you’ll love these:

 

Rob_FischerRob Fischer has been writing professionally for over 35 years. His experience includes writing curricula, study guides, articles, blogs, newsletters, manuals, workbooks, training courses, workshops, and books. Rob has written for numerous churches, for Burlington Northern Railroad, Kaiser Aluminum, and Barton Publishing. He has also trained managers in effective business writing. Rob holds two Master’s degrees, both focused heavily on writing. Rob has published eleven books and serves as an editor and ghostwriter for other authors.

 

Sources:
[1] Dr. Myhill, MD, “Detoxing – Far Infrared Sauna (FIRS),” 7 August, 2014, http://www.drmyhill.co.uk/wiki/Detoxing_-_Far_Infrared_Sauna_(FIRS).
[2] WebMD, “Multiple Chemical Sensitivity,” July 5, 2013, http://www.webmd.com/allergies/multiple-chemical-sensitivity.
[3] Dr. Myhill, MD, “Chemical Poisoning and Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) – How to Reduce the Body Load,” October 4, 2012, http://www.drmyhill.co.uk/wiki/Chemical_Poisoning_and_Multiple_Chemical_Sensitivity_(MCS)_-_how_to_reduce_the_body_load#Exercise.
[4] CureZone, “Multiple Chemical Sensitivity – MCS – Prevention & Curing Protocol,” nd, http://www.curezone.com/dis/1.asp?C0=83.
[5] Dr. Myhill, MD, “Detoxing – Far Infrared Sauna (FIRS).”
[6] Nancy Hearn, “Oxygenate Your Body – Hot to Restore Oxygen Balance and Help Prevent Disease,” Natural News, April 16, 2011, http://www.naturalnews.com/032096_oxygenation_body.html.
[7] Nancy Hearn.
[8] Marcelle Pick, OB/GYN NP, “The Lymph System and Your Health,” Women to Women, 2014, https://www.womentowomen.com/detoxification/the-lymph-system-and-your-health-2/.
[9] CureZone.
[10] Marcelle Pick, OB/GYN NP.
[11] Dr. Grace Ziem, “Dr. Grace Ziem’s Environmental Control Plan for Chemically Sensitive Patients,” 2000, http://www.mcsrr.org/resources/articles/S3.html#exercise.
[12] Nancy Hearn.
[13] Dr. Grace Ziem.
[14] Dr. Myhill, MD, “Detoxing – Far Infrared Sauna (FIRS).”

4 Root Causes of Asthma

by Dr. Scott Saunders, M.D.

Marilyn had asthma since she was a young adult. There seemed to be no pattern to her attacks – sometimes it would happen frequently, and other times she would go for years without an attack. Later, she noticed that before an asthma attack she would have an intense itch right in the middle of her back, where she couldn’t reach. If someone scratched it hard, the attack would not come. However, if nobody was around to scratch that itch, she would get severely short of breath. Interestingly, after divorcing her husband she stopped getting asthma attacks altogether.

Asthma is not a disease, but rather a syndrome where the airways in the lungs close down, not allowing air to get to the alveoli, or air sacs to give the body oxygen. As with most “diagnoses” in the medical world, asthma is not a single entity. It is a collection of symptoms of many different causes.

  • asthma caused by magnesium omega glutathione deficiencyAllergies
    • Pollen
    • Dust
    • Food
  • Deficiencies
    • Magnesium
    • Omega-3 oil
    • Glutathione
  • Chronic infections
    • Molds/fungi
    • Virus
    • Bacteria
  • Inflammation
    • Autoimmune disease
  • Neurological
    • Autonomic Nervous System instability
    • Anxiety
  • Hypocapnea (low carbon dioxide levels)

Supplements that may help with asthma are varied, depending on the type of asthma. Those with inflammation will need different supplements than those with allergies, for example. The following is a list to work from.

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Staying Fit with Asthma

by Rob Fischer

Years ago in one of his comedy routines, Steve Allen explained, “Asthma doesn’t seem to bother me any more unless I’m around cigars or dogs. The thing that would bother me most would be a dog smoking a cigar!”

While a dog smoking a cigar is a humorous image, if you have asthma, you know that asthma is no laughing matter. As many as 20 million Americans suffer with the disease.[1]

When I was a kid, asthma didn’t seem to be as prevalent as it is today, but I remember one boy in grade school who was excused from many sports activities because of his asthma. In fact, for years we thought that exercise was bad for people with asthma. But as with so many other medical conditions, we understand a whole lot more about asthma today than we did back then.

asthma triggersThere are two basic types of asthma: chronic asthma and exercise-induced bronchoconstriction (EIB). Exercise can bring on asthmatic symptoms with either type. Those symptoms include:[2]

  • Shortness of breath
  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Tight chest

But with the right preparation and the right activities there is no reason you can’t enjoy engaging in physical fitness like anyone else. And there are plenty of good reasons why you should do so.

Reasons to Stay Fit with Asthma

  1. Maintaining physical fitness is good for asthma, whereas poor health exacerbates it.[3]
  2. By staying fit, you can improve your control of asthma.[4]
  3. Staying fit also increases breath control and can help you reduce your asthma medication.[5]
  4. Keeping in shape with asthma improves heart and lung health.[6]
  5. Being fit with asthma will enhance your quality of life on many levels![7]

Recognize Asthma “Triggers”

A number of factors can trigger an asthmatic attack. Being aware of these factors can help you choose activities that are right for you and help you identify the cause of an attack to avoid future occurrences. These triggers include:

  • Deep, rapid breathing especially through the mouth
  • Dry air
  • Cold air
  • Pollen or pollution in the air
  • Dehydration
  • Excessive chlorine in a swimming strespool
  • Exercising when you’re sick

With the above triggers in mind, let’s consider some of the best exercises for people suffering with asthma.

best exercises for asthmaBest Exercises for Asthma

Generally, the best exercises for someone suffering with asthma are those that require only short, intermittent bursts of exertion. Click to Tweet.

Also, if you are unaccustomed to regular exercise, please speak with your doctor to choose an exercise an intensity most suited for you. Activities in this category are:[8], [9]

  • Volleyball
  • Gymnastics
  • Baseball & softball
  • Wrestling
  • Tennis
  • Golf
  • Downhill skiing
  • Moderate bicycling
  • Walking
  • Yoga
  • Tai Chi

An exception to the above is swimming. When swimming you’re usually breathing in moist, warm air, so even though you may be breathing more rapidly, swimming is considered one of the best healthy choices for someone with asthma.[10]

Exercises More Likely to Induce an Asthma Attack

Based on the above asthma triggers, some of the activities that are more likely to cause an asthma attack include any sports that involve long periods of exertion (5 to 6 minutes or longer):[11]

  • Soccer
  • Distance running
  • Basketball
  • Field and ice hockey
  • Cross-country skiing
  • Snowshoeing

Even though these activities are more likely to bring on an asthmatic attack, many people with asthma continue to enjoy these sports and even compete in them. About five percent of Olympic athletes take medication for asthma.[12] The key to participating in these or any physical activity is being aware of your body and following some practical tips.

Practical Tips for Controlling Asthma During Exercise[13]

  • Use an inhaler about 15 minutes prior to exercising.
  • If it’s particularly cold outside, or the pollen count or pollution is high, then exercise indoors.
  • Spend about 5 minutes warming up prior to exercising.
  • Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth.
  • Avoid exercising if you are sick or not feeling well.
  • Know your limits and don’t overdo it.
  • Always carry an inhaler in case you need it.
  • Keep hydrated.
  • Include a cool-down routine after the activity.

Warm-up and cool-down routines usually consist of stretching your muscles. The warm-up slowly brings your breathing and heart rate to the level required by the activity. The cool-down routine brings these back to their resting or normal rates.

If you have an asthmatic attack while exercising, stop the activity and follow the instructions your doctor provided in your asthma action plan.[14]

Regular exercise and staying fit is important for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Set a goal to work out for at least 30 minutes, four or five days per week. “Avoiding exercise when you have asthma is an old way of thinking,” according to Rachel Taliercio, DO, a lung and allergy specialist at the Cleveland Clinic.[15]

Find an exercise you enjoy and include a friend for optimum pleasure.

What is your healthy asthma and exercise combination?

If you liked this article, then you’ll love these:

 

Rob_FischerRob Fischer has been writing professionally for over 35 years. His experience includes writing curricula, study guides, articles, blogs, newsletters, manuals, workbooks, training courses, workshops, and books. Rob has written for numerous churches, for Burlington Northern Railroad, Kaiser Aluminum, and Barton Publishing. He has also trained managers in effective business writing. Rob holds two Master’s degrees, both focused heavily on writing. Rob has published eleven books and serves as an editor and ghostwriter for other authors.

 

 

Sources:
[1] Health.com, “14 Best and Worst Exercises for Asthma,” nd, http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20672105,00.html.
[2] American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, “Exercise-Induced Bronchoconstriction,” nd, http://www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/library/asthma-library/asthma-and-exercise.aspx.
[3] Chris Iliades, MD, “Best exercises for Asthma: Yoga, Swmming, Biking (cont.),” MedicineNet, August 29, 2013, http://www.medicinenet.com/best_exercises_for_asthma_yoga_swimming_biking/views.htm.
[4] Health.com.
[5] Health.com.
[6] Chris Iliades, MD.
[7] Chris Iliades, MD.
[8] Health.com.
[9] Chris Iliades, MD.
[10] Asthma Center, Partners in Healthcare, “Breath of Fresh Air Articles: Chapter 4: Exercise and Asthma,” 2010, http://www.asthma.partners.org/newfiles/BoFAChapter4.html.
[11] Health.com.
[12] Health.com.
[13] Chris Iliades, MD.
[14] WebMD, “Exercise and Asthma,” March 3, 2014, http://www.webmd.com/asthma/guide/exercising-asthma.
[15] Chris Iliades, MD.

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