Numerous research studies highlight the benefits of exercise. It is excellent for cardiovascular health, can improve mood and concentration, provides great opportunities for socialization, promotes mobility, and much more. It also has the potential to reduce your sleep apnea symptoms. Read on below to learn how that is the case.
Weight and OSA
Extra fatty tissue, particularly when it is around the neck, is a big risk factor for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), the kind of sleep apnea that occurs when tissues in the throat block the free flow of air. The extra fat can place pressure on the airway, causing it to become narrower so it is more difficult for oxygen to pass through.
The majority of weight loss programs encourage participants to exercise regularly. A good routine of physical activity can burn calories, support muscle growth, and encourage a healthy metabolism. Used in conjunction with a reasonable eating plan, exercise could help you shed excess weight and breathe better and night.
Also, do not think that you need to totally transform your body to experience health benefits. Even a 10% reduction in weight may lead to a big improvement in your sleep apnea symptoms.
What if Losing Weight Is Difficult for You?
Admittedly, losing weight is extremely challenging for some people, perhaps due to their genetics or other factors. If that is true of you, there is no need to become downhearted. Exercise alone, without any changes to your weight, can still improve your health and possibly lessen the severity of your OSA.
Research published in 2011 revealed that following a 12-week exercise program, individuals with OSA experienced a 25% reduction in the severity of their condition. There were no substantial changes to their weight. The study participants weighed an average of more 220 pounds, meaning that many of them were considered medically overweight.
Another encouraging point is that the study participants did not need to do anything extreme to notice benefits. They simply walked briskly for 30 – 40 minutes four days per week. Two days each week, they participated in some light strength training.
The Benefits of Myofunctional Therapy
Myofunctional therapy is a particular type of exercise that involves stretching and strengthening the throat and oral muscles to improve breathing. It has been known to reduce sleep apnea symptoms. A myofunctional therapist can guide you on the specific exercises you should perform to notice benefits.
Exercise is extremely important! Incorporating more movement into your daily routine might just help you sleep better.
Meet the Sleep Apnea Expert
Dr. Mitch Conditt spent much of his career as a general dentist, but in recent years, he has shifted his focus to helping patients cope with obstructive sleep apnea via oral appliance therapy. If you would like to learn how his services could work alongside your exercise routine to help you enjoy higher-quality rest, contact our office at 817-527-8500.