When you think of the side effects of sleep apnea, you’re likely to focus on the sheer exhaustion you feel day after day from not getting enough sleep. But this is far from the only way that sleep apnea can take a physical toll on your body.
After all, when you feel completely exhausted, you aren’t going to have energy to exercise. Chances are, you barely have enough energy to take care of work and chores. When so many people with sleep apnea report falling asleep while watching TV, it is hardly surprising that exercising becomes completely out of the question for many.
Of course, a sedentary lifestyle can contribute to several health issues on its own. Those who aren’t physically active are more likely to experience unhealthy weight gain, and are at a higher risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Needless to say, sleep apnea can contribute to a wide variety of issues.
Fortunately, a new study indicates that using CPAP therapy can help those with sleep apnea become more physically active, directly counteracting this problematic effect.
How CPAP Therapy Improves Physical Activity
The latest findings come from a study that was conducted by Flinders University over a period of nearly four years. During this period, over 2,600 study participants were separated into two groups — a group that was treated with CPAP therapy, and one that was not.
The findings were immediately apparent. In a press release discussing their findings, study co-author Kelly Loffler explained, “We were pleased to find that our CPAP users reported that they were better able to maintain their levels of activity over the four years of the study, and that they reported fewer limitations in moderate and vigorous activities including those that are important for independent aging, like walking up the stairs.”
Those who used CPAP therapy were 20 percent more likely to participate in moderate physical activity, as well as being more likely to adhere to public health recommendations for staying physically active.
Clearly, higher-quality sleep has a direct correlation with maintaining an active lifestyle. With more energy each morning, it becomes far easier to feel motivated to go to the gym or on a morning jog. This is about much more than improving how you look. As Loffler noted, maintaining your physical well-being is vital for managing everyday chores that require physical strength or aerobic capability.
Your ability to remain (or become) physically fit could have a direct impact on whether you are able to live independently and continue enjoying your favorite activities in the future.
Tips For Returning to Exercise
Of course, because sleep apnea and other factors can cause prolonged periods of inactivity, you may no longer be as physically fit as you once were. Studies have found that it can take over six weeks to restore lost strength and aerobic capability after two weeks of inactivity. Needless to say, the longer you’ve gone without exercising, the longer it will take to get back to “full strength.”
Because of this, you probably won’t be able to rush back into a “normal” exercise routine all at once. In fact, this is generally not recommended, because this could increase your risk for injury.
Those who are not in good physical shape should generally consult with a doctor before beginning an exercise program. Your doctor can evaluate your cardiovascular health, strength, and flexibility to determine what your body can and can’t handle at this current time.
This means you aren’t going to go on a five-mile run the first morning after you start using a CPAP machine. However, with higher energy levels, you can start simple by going for a walk around the neighborhood. As your body gets used to being more physically active, you can increase the distance of your walks, or transition to jogging.
As part of your return to exercise, you should make every effort you can to avoid injury. One of the best ways to do this is by incorporating a warmup and cool down into your exercise routine. For most people, this primarily focuses on stretching the muscle groups that were trained during your latest bout of exercise. Once you have “graduated” from walking to running or other more intensive activities, a short walk can also serve as a great cool down.
Even with more energy, it can sometimes be hard to find the motivation to stick with an exercise plan. Exercising with a workout buddy can help keep you accountable so that you are more motivated to exercise and less likely to skip out on your run or trip to the gym. If your schedule is exceptionally busy, look for short 10-minute breaks during the day when you can fit in some exercise. You’ll likely find you have more time than you thought!
Get Active With the Right CPAP Equipment
While CPAP therapy can go a long way in helping you feel better rested so you can become more physically active, you need to start by getting the right CPAP equipment.
Unfortunately, the high cost of CPAP machines can keep those with less-than-stellar health insurance (or no insurance) from buying the equipment they need. This is where No Insurance Medical Supplies comes in. With discounted prices on leading brands, as well as available financing and free shipping on select orders, it’s never been easier to get quality CPAP equipment.
Place your order today, and feel the difference as your body has more energy for exercise and everyday tasks!