Oxygen Uptake Breathing for Ill-Health Prevention

17 04 2011
Get Out and Breathe Nature’s Air

    Science shows us that those that don’t breathe correctly experience mood swings, depression, anxiety and other stress-related illnesses.  And the primary reason these disorders occur is because many of us live inactive lifestyles that promote shallow breathing.  What do I mean by this?  Think about it.  As you sit there and read this article, you’ll note that your intake of air expands your diaphragm one quarter to half a chest expansion.  Now that you’re thinking about it, take a deep breath in and exhale.  You see, you weren’t breathing fully.  Why do I bring you this example?

     If you understand what shallow breathing is than you can understand that half of your lung capacity is not being exercised, nor is your cardiopulmonary system.  What does this mean?  It means that a portion of your lungs are constantly living in a carbon dioxide environment, partially void of oxygen.  And why is this bad for prolonged periods of time?  The most obvious symptoms you should be aware are fatigue, lack of mental focus-energy and decreased metabolic function, which for many equates to weight gain.

     Through time and without adequate activity shallow breathing promotes decreases in the lungs capacity to expand maximally and eventually lack of oxygen delivery to tissues creates other ill-health conditions. 

    How does shallow breathing impact blood pressure?  Since the hearts action is involuntary it can only respond to demand on the heart.  If the heart senses a drop in oxygen to the body, it will pump more blood, even during sedentary activity.  Also, these increases in blood pressure and heart rate occur during exercise activity.  However, active exercise that is a cause and effect on increased blood pressure and heart rate has a relaxing and healthy effect on the mind and body after the task.  Whereas, and throughout time, shallow breathing, lacking activity has a detriment on the body and mind by decreasing lung capacity, blood pressure and carbon dioxide exchange within all cellular structure. 

    It is also true that the body requires an oxygenated environment to burn fat more effectively which occurs during aerobic activity.  Walking and jogging are the best forms of aerobic activity.  Deep breathing exercises practiced through yoga classes for example, or at home frequently will increase the fat burning metabolism process.

     When exercising the lungs adequately, the body is more oxygenated and metabolizes fat as a fuel source preference instead of breaking down mostly glycogen during anerobic activity (without oxygen).  Simply by learning to breathe correctly, you can burn more fat and better remove toxins from your body.  If you are limited to breathing exercises, you will benefit your body’s metabolism, lymph node, cardiopulmonary systems to include expedite the healing process.

     Many of you also understand during exercise we experience aerobic vs. anaerobic metabolic and muscular benefits.  And through exercise, for example, like walking, our bodies burn more body fat because our task has shifted to an aerobic metabolism.  But if we go from a walk to a sprint, our body cannot get enough oxygen for long periods of time at this intensity and lactic acid buildup limits us in our exercise activity.  Anaerobic activity is good for those that need to push the body to build short burst and power/strength capacity.  Whereas aerobic activity is necessary to build upon muscular endurance, fat burning and body toning goals.

     Below I provide deep breathing exercises that one can practice and apply to improve upon any fitness goal or ill-health, or rehabilitative challenge.  Simply apply the daily breathing technique below for improved health benefits.  You will experience anxiety-stress relief, reduced aches and pains, have more energy, cardiopulmonary capacity improvements.  At a minimum, you’ll improve your circulatory properties (blood pressure and heart rate), improve posture, mood, and sleep, also feel better about yourself and maybe notice some weight loss.

     Regardless of your breathing technique, you’ll note it is work, because breathing correctly is exercise.  This is because during exercise you have to consciously and willfully exercise the lungs and chest cavity muscles to capacity.  And breathing exercises should be preformed many times daily to break the habit of shallow breathing.

     An easy breathing exercise that is relaxing to practice whether sitting, or just before sleep, or walking:  While sitting up straight without arching your back, inhale deeply [imagine filling your lungs from the bottom up].  Hold for a count of six and then release slowly for the same count.  During the exhalation, forcibly remove the excess residual air volume from your lungs.  This is easily accomplished by tightening the abdominal area through the exhalation activity.  During the inhalation phase don’t rush it [otherwise you’ll feel like your hyperventilating].  Simply inhale through the nose with the mouth closed.  Hold the inflated lungs for 6 counts and then release for 6 counts through mouth.

     Also, through simple breathing techniques posture is important.  Insure you don’t lean forward and reduce the chest cavity area during this exercise.  If you do this, you’re not exercising your circulatory-lung systems to its full capacity.  Remember to repeat this as many times throughout the day as possible.  Eventually, your involuntary system will maintain a deeper breathing pattern during sleep and during the day.  Your body will then begin to become more oxygenated throughout a 24 hour window.

     And just before sleep, as you lay on your bed, remove the pillow; lay flat and go through 8-10 deep breathing 6 counts of full inhalation and exhalation.  This is very relaxing and good for your mind and body which will greatly aid in your ability to fall asleep.

     Deep breathing is also good to practice before a big interview, or public speaking engagement as well.  It wakes the mind, lungs and posture for better focus and vocal capacity while calming the nerves.

     Remember, it’s easy to get lazy at breathing.  When we were younger our bodies were more active during the day and our breathing was more active during sleep.  Our young active metabolisms craved the oxygen enriched environment and the involuntary act of breathing during sleep was increased.

    However, for many of us as we age, our activity levels decrease and we develop poor postural habits.  When these two things occur the act of shallow breathing is the result.   But through daily aerobic activity and/or combined with daily breathing exercises one can reverse shallow breathing and reap many longevity health benefits for the mind, body and spirit.

 Internet References:

http://www.womentowomen.com/fatigueandstress/deepbreathing.aspx

http://www.stress-relief-exercises.com/deep-breathing-exercises.html

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COPD Is Serious and Will Kill You!

23 02 2009

CODP (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) is a disease by which breathing becomes very difficult without assistance from an oxygen tank once the disease has progressed and will eventually kill you!  It is well know that smoking is a major culprit behind COPD.  The smoke causes and creates permanent damage to the lungs air-sacs.  There are other inhaled elements that can put you at risk.  1) Chemical Fumes.  2)  Dust 3) Air Pollution 4) Second hand smoke.  After years of one or more element exposures, it can take years for this disease to present itself.   COPD is most commonly found in people 60 and over, those that have had lung infections as a child, those that got emphysema in their 30-40’s, or families where this disease manifested itself.  Symptoms – Chronic cough and/or mucus when coughing, shortness of breath, especially during exercise, weight loss and weakness.  As the disease progresses exacerbation flare ups can be mild to life threatening by suffocation, or drowning in your own mucus fluids.

Smoking is a leading cause of preventable CODP.  What chemicals in cigarettes are responsible for causing CODP?  This is a good question, The National Cancer Institute states there are over 4,000 chemicals released from tobacco smoke.  The tar residues by-product that enters your body includes such poisons as arsenic and cyanide!  The American Lung Association shows each year 400,000 Americans die from lung disease.  There are 35 million more Americans in any given year that are now living with chronic lung disease!  Even with these unbelievable statistics American smoking consumption is as strong as ever, “Nicotine has the addictive power of heroin and cocaine.” (Dr. C. Everett Koop, Surgeon General).

It is also known that second hand smoke gravely impacts others around them.  Many smokers do not believe their habits impact anyone else but themselves.  The American Heart Association secondhand mortality statistics:  Secondhand smoke is directly responsible for 37,000-40,000 cardiovascular and 3,400 fatal lung cancer victims per year. And according to the American Cancer Society, secondhand smoke is responsible for over 150,000 lung infections and 750,000 middle ear infections within our children each year.  There are basically two diseases associated with COPD.  1)  Chronic Bronchitis – When airways that carry oxygen from the lungs to the body get inflamed producing mucus, this makes it hard to breath.  2)  Emphysema – This is where the lungs air sacs become inefficient at intake and pushing air.  Once these air sacs become damaged the body begins to starve and die due to lack of oxygen-enriched blood.  At this point the patient always feels short of breath with a constant feeling of suffocation.  Over time COPD gets worse.  The damage to your lungs at this point is permanent.  However, you can take steps to stop further damage to your lungs and body.

Recommendations 

-See a physician if you smoke, or a cough that will not go away, or mucus when coughing.
-Medication will boost your chance 50% to quit smoking for good (American Cancer Society).
-Ask a physician for other tests if you suspect exposure to other things in your past.
-Request a doctor to listen to your lungs and a spirometry breathing test.
-Request chest X-rays to rule out other potential problems, or pathologies.
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Next Issue:  “Prevention & Treatment of Uterine Cancer” Author:  Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET2009 Copyright.  All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Publishing @: http://www.mirrorathlete.com, Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.





Candida and What to Do About it

25 04 2008

    Some think or suspect the Candida fungus is responsible for what ails them.  Since Candida resides in us all, it is not impossible to believe this particular fungus could get out of hand.  Candida is a yeast fungus that normally is present on the skin and in the mucous membranes of the mouth, intestinal tract, and vagina, and that may become pathogenic, especially C. albicans, the causative agent of thrush (fungal infecti0n of the mouth or throat).  Infection caused by the fungus Candida albicans, is manifested by white, slightly raised patches on the mucous membrane of the tongue, mouth, and throat. The mucous membrane beneath the patches is usually raw and bleeding.  Candida overtakes your guts probiotics (read “Intestinal Bacteria & Nutrient Absorption?” at our home site), outnumbering the helpful bacteria as its food source.  Candida albicans then runs rampant within the stomach and small intestines.  When the fungus becomes present in the large intestines… This is a sign your system is fighting a battle it can’t win unless something changes. This is because your guts bacterial environment has become septic with the fungus.  With long-term infection the fungus actually sets up a root system penetrating the intestinal and mucosal lining of our guts.  Other harmful materials then are easily absorbed by this deep rooted system resulting in an immunological reaction, where the yeast syndrome impacts the entire body’s system.

 Health problems associated with this fungus – It is recognized, this deep rooted fungi system can introduce insidious pathogens in the body creating a condition where serious disease can thrive, e.g., “1) Acne or psoriasis 2) Allergies 3) Diabetes 4) Digestive disorders… Weight gain, gas, bloating, colitis (read “IBS Irritable Bowel Syndrome” at our home site) 5) Ear infections 6) Emotional upsets and depression 6) Energy imbalances or insomnia 7) Hormonal problems 8) Hyperactivity, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) 9) Hypoglycemia 10) Hypothyroidism 11) Lung problems 12) Obesity 13) Pollen allergies 14) Reproductive Organ Disorders 15) Sensitivities to foods, chemicals, and/or molds 16) Susceptibility to viruses, bacteria, and other infections 17) Thyroid.   Some practitioners believe that Candida overgrowth can lead to onset of chronic illnesses: Chronic fatigue symptom (CFS), fibromyalgia, Epstein-Barr virus, lupus, multiple sclerosis (MS), Alzheimer’s, Crohn’s disease, arthritis, cancer, and autism (reference, puristat com).  Once you are identified with Candida, it can take up to 7 months to remove it through proper diet.

Avoid the following foods that promote Candia thriving in the body:  All sugars, baked goods, breads, refined flour, alcohol, vinegars, pickled vegetable, dried fruits, cheeses, mushrooms.  Candida depends on sugar to survive.  Cut off the food source and you’ll starve-kill the fungus.  Also check food labels for fructose, glucose, lactose, maltose, mannitol, sorbitol and sucrose.  Avoid honey, maple syrup and molasses.  Remove processed and packaged foods from your diet (high in sugars).

Foods to consume to rid yourself of Candida:  Eat plenty of fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains, nuts and seeds, eggs, yogurt, meats, poultry, fish, oils (flaxseed, olive, sesame, and sunflower), butter, lemon, etc.  See our health store for purity products, fish oils, etc.

Author:  Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET.  2008  Copyright.  All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Publishing, www.mirrorathlete.com, Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.