Paced breathing beats normal breathing when it comes to managing many common health conditions or just feeling more energetic. Something as simple as lengthening each inhalation and exhalation can help you feel fitter and more at ease.
♦Benefits of Paced Breathing
1. Reduce hot flashes.
Changing the way you breathe affects your body’s autonomic nervous system. Your autonomic nervous system helps maintain your body temperature, so changing over to paced breathing minimizes hot flashes.
2. Tame anxiety.
Anyone who is prone to panic attacks knows what it’s like to be short of breath. If you’re being treated for anxiety and depression, ask your doctor about using paced breathing as a supplement to conventional care. It’s also great for ordinary daily challenges like traffic jams and lost luggage.
Childbirth is one of the most obvious occasions when patients use breathing techniques. You can apply it to any kind of pain. Experts debate exactly how it works, but it seems to provide a distraction and helps you to loosen up.
6. Sleep better.
Get relief from tossing and turning until dawn. Fall asleep faster and wake up less frequently during the night.
7. Promote healing.
Studies show that skillful breathing can help recovery times. If you have major surgery scheduled or you injure your knee jogging, you may be able to get back in shape faster than you think.
8. Strengthen your immune system.
The quality of your breath plays a big role in keeping you fit and strong. You’ll find you catch fewer colds and you’ll increase your resistance to more serious conditions.
♦Training Yourself in Paced Breathing
Understand your hormones.
Stress triggers higher levels of adrenaline, which is associated with short and shallow breathing. When you relax, your brain produces more choline, so your breathing becomes deeper and more leisurely.
Slow down. Gradually work your way down to 5 to 8 breaths a minute.
The average rate is about 15 to 20. When you get down to about 5 breaths, stay there. Otherwise, you may get dizzy.
♥ Breathe in through your nostrils. Count to at least 2-3 seconds.
♥ Slowly draw air up from your diaphragm.
♥ Experiment with going deeper each time.
Exhale fully.Pay equal attention to exhaling.
♥ Let all the air out gently and slowly and count mentally 5 seconds. (One thousand one, One thousand two, one thousand three, etc.)
♥ Match the length of each exhalation to the length of each inhalation.
Aim for two sessions a day.
Some studies show that you get the best results when you practice twice a day.Brief sessions of 5 to 15 minutes are fine. You can even make progress in as little as two minutes.
Pick a focal point.
If you have trouble concentrating on your breath, use an aid that works for you. Count your breaths or silently repeat an inspiring word or phrase to yourself. If you prefer visual images, look at a candle or a pretty flower.
Continue your education.
There are many variations on breathing mindfully. Once you’ve mastered paced breathing, you may want to go on to learn other styles. Sign up for a yoga or meditation class or browse through your local library for books and CDs.
Paced breathing is a safe and natural method that anyone can learn. It helps eliminate anxiety and hot flashes. It’s free and simple and you can take it everywhere you go. Start living better with every breath you take.
Do You Recognize the 3 Main Trouble Spots for Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis can affect any bone in your body. It is a condition where bone becomes less dense and porous, making it brittle. This is why fractures can happen even with the slightest pressure or load. I have patients who broke a hip just by standing up from a seated position.
The most common trouble is the wrist, spine, and hips. As the population grows older, the condition is becoming more widespread. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, about 10 million Americans have osteoporosis and another 44 million have low bone density.
Osteoporosis is the thins the bone as we age. This is because there is not much impact and loading on bones as people become more sedentary. The bones become thinner and more brittle. It develops over time. The symptoms may be unnoticed until a bone fracture happens.
Use this quick guide to strengthen your bones and lower your risks for osteoporosis.
Caring for Your Wrists
A broken wrist is often an early sign of osteoporosis.That is especially true if the injury was caused by only minor force. For women, a Colle’s fracture is very common.
Be mindful of your wrist position.Practice holding your wrists flat rather than letting them bend backward while typing or lifting objects. This will guard against carpal tunnel syndrome and related injuries.
Towel wringing. There are many exercises that can strengthen your wrist. In addition to dumbbell exercises, there are some moves you can do anywhere to condition your wrists. Grab a towel by each end and twist it tightly. Hold for 5 seconds. Do this in both directions.
Squeeze a ball. Another option is holding a ball in your palm and squeezing it with your fingers. Point your middle finger towards the center of your wrist to minimize joint stress.
(Hold and squeeze the ball, hold for 5 – 10 seconds each time, then relax. Repeat for as many as you are able to tolerate. While watching TV, waiting in line, etc.
Caring for Your Spine
***Almost 700,000 people a year experience vertebral compression fractures, and there may be no noticeable discomfort. These injuries are almost twice as common as broken hips or wrists.***
Warning signs. You can spot compression fractures if you know what to look for. Symptoms include sudden loss of height, difficulty breathing, a protruding stomach, and soreness in your lower back.
Strengthen your core. Strengthening and firming up your abdominal muscles can take a load off your back. Engage your abs during workouts and daily tasks like carrying groceries.
Be careful when bending forward. If you already have osteoporosis, bending forward can contribute to spine and hip fractures. Your doctor may recommend you use a pick-up cane so you can clean the house and pick up your keys while standing up.
Caring for Your Hips
Broken hips can trigger long-term health issues and interfere with independent living. More than 95% of hip fractures are caused by falling, according to the CDC.
Work on improving your balance.There are many ways to increase your balance and coordination. Sign up for Tai Chi or yoga classes. Take turns standing on one leg at a time. Keep your eyeglass prescription updated and play it safe with medications that make you drowsy.
Strengthen your legs.Powerful legs can help you stay on your feet. Train them with squats, lunges, and calf raises.
Make home adaptations. Modify your home with safety in mind. Install grab bars in the bathroom and extra lights in the backyard. Ensure that each stairway has secure rails on both sides.
⇒ MORE IMPORTANT TIPS:
Prompt medical treatment and lifestyle changes can make a big difference in keeping your bones healthy. Genetics alone is not enough to rely on to determine your risk factors for osteoporosis.
Consult with your doctor. Your doctor can prescribe bone and health screenings & diagnostics to evaluate your individual situation. Your health team then will be able to help you manage your risk factors and design a safe exercise program.
Eat calcium-rich foods.Calcium and Vitamin D are two important nutrients for your bones. Consider including dairy products and fortified breakfast cereal in your diet.
Add intensity to your workouts. Make sure it is the right type of exercise for your fitness level, however. Walking is good for your posture and your heart. More challenging activities are required to make an impact on your bone mass. Bone responds accordingly to the loads placed on it. Do strength training gradually and safely, increasing the amount of weight you use. Consult with a physical therapist. Physical Therapists are skilled at evaluating your fitness level and the type of therapeutic exercises appropriate for you. It is necessary to take any comorbidities into consideration.
Get on the ball with osteoporosis prevention. Fighting osteoporosis can help you to live longer and more independently in your golden years. Work with your doctor to take care of your bones by building up their strength and density with targeted exercises and healthy lifestyle choices.
Scoliosis can develop from the degeneration of the lumbar spine caused by normal wear and tear. Osteoarthritis is also a common cause. It is also common in the elderly as the spine deteriorates from degenerative disc disease. This will also have developed since adolescence but was undetected. furthermore, most cases of scoliosis have no known cause,
A common problem due to degenerative changes in the spine and common in the adult population, I see this a lot in the clinical setting. Complaints from individuals including back pain, sciatica, and functional decline due to anxiety with functional activities from anticipating pain.
Here, I want to share Ms. Carol’s story about her personal journey with this condition. I admire her tenacity as she continues to take charge of her own wellness despite her physical problems. Carol L., has been a patient of mine for over a decade. She is very active in life. She volunteers at a local zoo engage in social and community service activities, joins exercise classes and continues to live her life to its fullest. As told to me, this is her story, verbatim. This is exactly how she wrote it.
“I am 74 years old, and I have been living with scoliosis for the last twenty years or so. A recent x-ray described my spine as follows; “Marked thoracolumbar scoliosis convexity to the left, some 74 degrees.” I’ve been told that I could have been in a wheelchair with this kind of curvature. Instead, I am active, healthy, and flexible.
But, I’ve had to work – consistently – over the last 20 years to maintain my strength and flexibility.
Scoliosis is degenerative, so things change. Scoliosis itself doesn’t hurt – it’s the way it pulls the rest of the body (spine, pelvis, hips, shoulders) out of alignment, causing sore everything and often pinched nerves. It hurts to move, so you don’t! That’s the problem.
My first major episode was a pinched sciatic nerve in about 1995, and I thought I would never walk again. Doctors wanted to prescribe drugs and bed rest. I chose to see a chiropractor. The adjustments would not hold, and I was referred to a physical therapist. After about three physical therapists, I finally found someone who understood my problem and said – Ha! Your pelvis is out of alignment! Let’s work on core strength and stabilize the pelvis.
It’s essential to work on physical therapy, understand the problem, and continue to do the exercises. But, life happens, so you slack off your workouts, you get older, and your curve gets worse. So on and off, I’ve been back in real therapy-each time focusing a little differently on scoliosis, and of course, arthritis!
I have been fortunate to see the same physical therapist – someone who understands the problem and is not afraid to make me work! Staying active – moving – is critical. I’ve tried almost every medication in the market without much success – so I’ve not taken any medication for a long time.
The last episode had been complicated by moderately severe stenosis (according to my MRI), causing nerve pain, and I finally got a steroid injection. With that relief, and some new strengthening and stretching exercises from my physical therapist, I’ve been able to manage the pain reasonably well and achieve much better posture! Now, my focus is on maintaining strength AND flexibility, AND posture! I do a little routine in the morning to get ready for the day. You know when you are out of alignment – you hurt!
The June 2017 issue of Consumer reports says that growing research shows that a combination of ‘hands-on therapy’ (Yoga, Tai Chi, massage, physical therapy, acupuncture, chiropractic) is more effective than drugs or surgery. I do them all (well, almost all), and it works!
Am I pain-free?? No. Have I been pain-free for the last 20 years? No. But it’s manageable with the exercises, I can do pretty much anything I want to do – walk, climb stairs, stand for hours, volunteer, travel, etc. My therapist warns me I’m getting old and have to be more careful about breaking bones and causing serious injury – so I’m trying to take it a little easier – but not too much!”
– By Carol L. (written 5/31/2018)
It is always possible to make adjustments to inabilities, and one can still live a productive life despite physical challenges. I have so much admiration for this hardworking lady who grabs the bull by its horn and just so inspiring to know!
She was back again for PT this year, for back pain; not a lot of complaints this time, mostly concerned with her R hip and leg. As always, she always gets better and returns to usual activities. She still actively goes to the gym and does her usual volunteer work at the Brevard Zoo 2 days a week.
It was a great pleasure to see her again overcome her difficulties..
Pregnancy,as we know, is always a joyful expectation of another life. Active women, however, always express concern when it comes to exercising during pregnancy. There are precautions of course, as that fetus develops in the womb. Some women, especially advanced age mothers are more at risk. Here are some tips. Some conditions make exercises risky during pregnancy and should be carefully monitored. Although exercise is great for pregnant women, unfortunately, not everyone is allowed to participate in it.
This is because it may expose them to certain dangers that could cause problems for the fetus and mother, as well. Certain conditions prevent women from engaging in exercises during pregnancy, and some of them are: Heart Diseases Heart Diseases such as coronary heart disease, heart attack, congenital heart disease, congestive heart failure occur mostly when fatty plaques clog the heart. There are some diseases of the heart which could be fatal. The most common symptoms include heart palpitation and metabolic syndrome. Heart attacks can be treated through drug therapy or surgical treatment. It could be prevented through the lowering of cholesterol, eating heart-healthy diets, lowering high blood pressure, stop drinking and smoking, and taking antioxidants. Exercise is meant to prevent these heart diseases not to cure them. So, you would have to first seek a solution before adding exercise as a recovery process. After treatment, you can then engage in activities such as aerobic exercise.
It is advisable to check with your doctor first for him to carry out a stress test on you to see how much exercise you are allowed to do. Also, when exercising, try not to exercise alone. Go to the gym or yoga centers or a group. There are different recreation centers specifically for rehabilitating people who are recovering from one heart disease or the other. You can benefit from this.
Restrictive Lungs Diseases This can be defined as respiratory diseases that restrict lung expansion, thereby reducing your ability to breathe freely. It is one of the causes of severe coughing. Some of the causes of these diseases are obesity and scoliosis. It could be cured through surgery if a pleural disorder causes it. Pregnant women living with this condition are advised not to exercise as it could lead to pregnancy complications such as shortness of breath. Weakened Cervix A weakened cervix can be called different names such as cervical weakness, cervical insufficiency, or incompetent cervix. They all mean the same thing. This condition causes the cervix to open up and thin earlier than the pregnancy’s due date. The subtle symptoms of the incompetent cervix are; a backache, wet vaginal discharge, color changes in your vaginal discharge, pelvic pressure, early cramping, and slight vaginal bleeding. This condition is one of the causes of miscarriage and preterm delivery, according to the American Pregnancy Association.
Although this is not a common medical condition, women who notice these symptoms or are diagnosed with an incompetent cervix are advised not to exercise or to stop exercising if they had already started to reduce the risks associated with preterm delivery. You can begin regular exercises after you deliver your beautiful baby.
Premature Rupture Of Membranes Premature rupture of the membrane refers to a medical condition in which a pregnant woman’s water breaks more than an hour before labor is due. In a healthy pregnancy, the amniotic sac, also known as the membrane, breaks, and the contents known as amniotic fluid, flows out. After this, contraction begins in 12 hours (it could take longer), which leads to labor. If the amniotic sac breaks before contraction start as it happens in some women, then it is called premature rupture of membranes. In this state, it is not advisable to engage in any form of exercise as it is critical. Preeclampsia Preeclampsia is a condition that begins around the 20th week of pregnancy. It is commonly caused by high blood pressure or protein found as part of urine content. It can happen to a pregnant woman who hitherto had no history of high blood pressure. This condition is highly risky, and if not appropriately managed, can bring severe complications for both mother and child, which can be fatal in some cases. Luckily, if managed adequately through necessary medications, the baby can be delivered without issues.
Persistent Bleeding Bleeding such as subchorionic hematomas happens at the point where the pregnant woman’s placenta detaches from where it is initially implanted. This detachment affects the chronic membrane, which then splits to form other sacs. As they move from where they were formerly situated to another location, bleeding occurs. The bleeding can either be light or heavy. Heavy bleeding can be a sign of ectopic pregnancy or an impending miscarriage. Under this circumstance, exercising is not allowed until you have been certified by your doctor to engage in it. Placenta Previa
Placenta Previa is a condition that occurs when the placenta is planted close to the cervix, and whenever the cervix stretches, it bleeds. It is known as one of the causes of vaginal bleeding. The symptom of this condition is constant bleeding after the 20th week of gestation, which is sometimes accompanied by uterine contractions. According to the American Pregnancy Association, this condition is experienced by women in the early stages of pregnancy, especially those who live at high altitudes. Women, especially those in their third trimesters, are advised to seek a medical cure to this issue before involving in any exercise. Although most times, women with placenta Previa is booked for cesarean section pending when the fetus is healthy enough to be delivered.
Premature Labor Premature labor happens in about 10% of most pregnancies in the United States. When the body starts getting ready for a baby earlier than three weeks before the due date, it is known as premature labor. Various symptoms tell if a pregnant woman is going to have a premature birth, and some of them are: Contractions every ten minutes, increased vaginal discharge, lower abdomen cranks, constant ache at your lower back. It is advised to keep away from any form of exercise during this period, as you are not sure of the health of your fetus or even your health. Conclusion Other conditions that may require you to put exercise on hold or stop it are entire, iron deficiency anemia, asthma, diabetes, joint-related issues, multiple births, and high blood pressure, being overweight, or underweight. Discuss your concerns with your doctor to know his stance first. Ask questions. After all, they are there for you.