What Fitness Specialist should know when working with healthy population
|To ensure optimal health improvement and increase in athletic endurance the following aspects of exercise routine should be considered:
1. Core principal.During any physical activity, ventilation of the lungs should not exceed current metabolic requirements. This can be achieved following recommendations listed below, as well as working toward permanent breathing normalization outside physical exercise time.
2. Warm up and cool down. Warming up allows one to gradually adjust breathing volume to match the rate of physical activity. Cooling down should be geared toward reducing one’s breathing while gradually decreasing physical activity.
3. Nose breathing. If one’s Morning Control Pause (CP) is not consistently above 20 sec, it is extremely important to nose breathe only. It is highly desirable to nose breathe only all the time, under any circumstances, including physical exercise. If one cannot tolerate physical activity with nose breathing, one should lower the intensity of the routine toward what is tolerable with nose breathing (e.g. slow down walking, limit exercise duration, take breaks etc).
4. Mouth breathing for a very short period of time could be justified only if
5. Large volume chest breathing (often interpreted as “deep” breathing) should not be encouraged.
6. Intensity. The most optimum exercise is one that is done with maximum intensity, but consistent nose breathing. As a guideline for maximum intensity, a person should be able to suspend their breath for 5 seconds at any point during exercise, while still maintaining nasal breathing.
7. Duration. Generally speaking, the longer the exercise (up to 3 hours a day), the stronger the impact. But one has to consider their current state of health and determine most beneficial duration (for some people at the beginning of breathing retraining, most beneficial duration can be as little as 15 min twice a day). The duration should be gradually increased as one’s breathing is brought to healthy volumes. In many cases, moderate exercise will be more beneficial, because for the majority of modern people exercising beyond body’s limits would typically involve hyperventilation, and, in this case, it is not only useless, but can be harmful. With proper breathing and correct physical training one will be able to extend body’s limits in a healthy way, and therefore extend the duration of beneficial exercise.
8. Diversity. For maximum benefits, include all groups of exercises listed below. The same way we need to eat variety of foods to get full spectrum of nutrients, vitamins and minerals, switching and changing exercise routines will give your body optimal strength, flexibility, tone and weight. It will take “boring” out of your physical activity and allow the body to recuperate from repetitive muscle load.
9. Stretch exercises, including Yoga. Both are excellent warm up and cool down routines. Flexibility and balance have been long considered the attributes of youth. Yoga greatly increases upper body strength, which aids correct posture, which in turn promotes naturally reduced breathing volumes. Gentle breath holds and calm breathing that go along with many Yoga poses are recommended over techniques that might involve large volume breathing (e.g. some Pranayama breathing taught by modern Yoga instructors).
10. Core Exercises, including Yoga: Our body has core muscles located mostly in our back, abdomen and pelvis. Strengthening them can help protect and support our back, make body less prone to injury and help gain greater balance. Upper body strength plays a huge role in breathing normalization by setting the correct posture.
11. Weight training /resistance type exercises. This type of exercise assists in proper absorption of calcium and bone and muscle strengthening. It is also quite safe, and with weight/resistance load regulation, can be done by virtually everyone, regardless of age or fitness level. Increased muscle strength aids correct posture, which promotes naturally reduced breathing volumes.
12. Walking. Walking is a universal exercise, one that can be prescribed for any age or fitness level. When one starts breathing retraining, walking is the most natural choice of physical exercise to recommend, as speed and duration can be easily regulated. Once proper breathing is achieved during fast walking, one can move up to a combination of walking/jogging/running routines.
13. Shaking or aerobics. Exercise that produce natural shaking of the body (e.g., jogging, running, elliptical machines, dancing, trampoline jumping, jump-roping, most games, many team sports etc.) should be included in exercise routine. One of the advantages of shaking movements is lymphatic system stimulation. Even bigger advantages of aerobic exercise have been suggested in recent studies – release of endorphins, which act as natural painkillers, anti-aging benefits through stimulation of HGH (Human Growth Hormone) and limiting age related telomere shortening.
14. Perspiration. Sweating helps detoxification of the body.
Effectiveness of the exercise can be measured by comparing the “before” and “after” CP (what is Control Pause – How to measure your Control Pause) values. “After” CP value should be measured 30 to 40 min after the activity. Increase in CP value indicates a positive outcome.
What Fitness Specialist should know when working with people with respiratory conditions
Lung disease is a number three killer in the US, responsible for one in six deaths. Today, more than 35 million Americans are living with chronic lung disease such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), otherwise known as emphysema and chronic bronchitis.
To avoid triggering of respiratory symptoms, breathing volume should be balanced by the rate of physical activity, therefore
Nose breathing should be ensured at all times during physical activity
A person should not increase physical activity beyond the point where it is impossible for him /her to sustain nasal breathing
A person should not increase physical activity beyond the point where he/she loses control of their breathing (e.g. breathing becomes erratic, gasping etc.)
Large volume chest breathing (often interpreted as “deep” breathing) should not be encouraged by Fitness Instructor
Exercise prescription should be based on individual CP measurements (among other factors)
Proper warm up and cool down routines are essential for avoiding EIA, sudden asthma attacks, cough attacks or COPD symptoms aggravation
Fitness Instructors should be familiar with commonly used asthma/COPD medications and have guidelines established for emergency procedures.
Fitness Instructors should encourage trainees with breathing disorders / lung conditions to stay in close contact with their medical provider and practice correct breathing beyond their exercise time, such as to learn and practice the Buteyko Breathing to correct chronic hyperventilation.
Even among breathing/lung conditions patients, there is a huge variation in their health and fitness level. Therefore, individual recommendations will vary considerably. Regretfully, breathing patients typically make their biggest mistake by either not exercising at all, or over-exercising. Breathing instructors can help you with correct exercise prescription. If you think you cannot exercise due to debilitating symptoms you are experiencing, let the Buteyko Breathing coach consult you. You’ll be amazed at the difference!
Posts Tagged ‘sports endurance’
In my observation, these days being athletic doesn’t equal being healthy anymore.
Staggering statistics shows –
|Exercise-induced asthma has been diagnosed in as many as half of all elite cross-country skiers and almost as many world-class ice skaters and hockey players. It’s far more common in winter athletes than in those who compete in the summer, although nearly 17 percent of Olympic-level distance runners have been given the same diagnosis. And
A U.S. study discovered signs of exercise-induced asthma in more than one-third of college athletes assessed for breathing problems. Researchers at Ohio State University Medical Center screened 107 Ohio State varsity athletes for exercise-induced asthma. Forty-two, or 39 percent, of the athletes tested positive, and 36 of those 42 athletes had no prior history of asthma.
Dr. John Douillard, in his famous book Body, Mind and Sports writes “A New England Study reported on the health and fitness of kids who were state-champion high school athletes. The top athletes were given a standard health-related physical fitness test… The results were surprising. Nearly all the 16-, 17-, and 18- year-old state champions failed. Despite their athletic prowess, they could not pass a health-oriented examination of fitness….There appears to be a large number of former professional athletes with chronic career-ending conditions, such as chronic fatigue syndrome, exercise induced asthma and bronchitis, and pneumonia. … When I had the opportunity spending a few weeks teaching in Russia, Dr Yuri Belous, the chairman of the former USSR Committee on Physical Culture and Sports, was lamenting the chronic illness of his country’s top athletes … The estimated lifespan of NFL football player is a shocking 56 years, 19 years below the national average…. More than 200,000 deaths are reported each year from heart attacks during or immediately after exercise ”
Another hard-to-ignore fact is a growing epidemic of “exhaustion” disorders, such as adrenal fatigue, chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, fibromyalgia, and similar “fat folder” conditions. When such people share their experiences I was surprised at how many of them would say – I used to be highly energetic person, involved in various athletics, literally tireless. Then the downward spiral is set in motion, and the result is devastating – “run down” body, often unable to tolerate 5-10 min. walk, myriad of unexplained symptoms, such as persistent pains and aches, debilitating fatigue, poor concentration, insomnia, food intolerances, breathing problems, anxiety and more.
In my practice and in my community I witness people who are involved in athletics with strong conviction they are greatly contributing to their health, weight normalization and longevity. But what I often see is far from picture of health – I see highly stressed, chronic mouth- and chest-breathers. Many are developing poor exercise tolerance, continuously stuffed sinuses, breathlessness, anxiety, poor sleep, weight gain (despite exercise related calorie loss and good diet).
While we have no doubt that exercise is a vital component of human health, statistics of so many unhealthy athletes begs to recognize that not every exercise is beneficial. According to professor Buteyko’s theory, it is Exercise With Correct Breathing that can make all the difference in your health.
My Yoga instructor often says “Remember, your practice is always secondary to breathing. Yoga postures are secondary to breathing. Breathing always comes first.” She has no idea what a profound truth is hidden in those statements. Unfortunately, like many modern Yoga instructors, breathing techniques she suggests encourage hyperventilation instead of reducing it. Meanwhile, reducing chronic hyperventilation is a crucial factor for modern humans in order to get their health under control and to increase physical endurance.
I was really pleased with the opportunity to speak in front of the Minnesota School of Business and Globe College students, who are studying to be fitness trainers. Hopefully, it prompts them to rethink the concept of healthy exercise. Hopefully they’ll think like my Yoga instructor… only with Buteyko in mind.
The following recommendations are based on the seminars that I presented at Minnesota School of Business and Globe College. The Buteyko Method introductory seminars were given for a group of students studying to be fitness instructors (the course title is Exercise Prescription for Special Population). This information might be helpful whether you are a fitness or yoga instructor, or health club / fitness group participant, or a breathing disorder sufferer who needs to know the safest way to exercise to maximum capacity without triggering symptoms and aggravating your condition. Note, that following is not a full presentation and contains general guidelines only. For more info and individualized programs, contact the Buteyko Clinic, and find out about workshops and other services we offer.
(Continues in the next post)
Recently I’ve come across this startling headline:
A U.S. study discovered signs of exercise-induced asthma in more than one-third of college athletes assessed for breathing problems.
Researchers at Ohio State University Medical Center screened 107 Ohio State varsity athletes for exercise-induced asthma. Forty-two, or 39 percent, of the athletes tested positive, and 36 of those 42 athletes had no prior history of asthma, the study reported in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. (Exercise-induced asthma common in college)
EIA statistics among children and young adults is getting increasingly troublesome. PE teachers at school are taught regularly how to deal with Exercise Induced Asthma in children.
Minnesota Department of Health guide called Asthma: Practical Tips For P.E. & H.E. Teachers states the following facts
According to National Health Interview Survey 2001
● Approximately 2.5 students in a class of 30 are likely to have asthma (Asthma in Children Fact Sheet, American Lung Association, June 17 2003)
● Is the most common chronic disease causing absence from school (Asthma Prevalence, Health Care Use, and Mortality, 2000 –01, National Center for Health Statistic)
● 1 in 13 school children have asthma
● 6.3 million children under 18 have asthma
● 5 Minnesota students died of asthma in 2002
● 33% of all identified school related asthma deaths (1990 2003) occurred during a school sporting event or during PE class (Minnesota Center for Health Statistics Centers for Disease Control, 2004)
According to a Minneapolis Public School survey 2002
● 76% of respondents observed and/or assisted student/s with asthma problems in the past year
● 51.5% of respondents reported being uncomfortable assisting with asthma episodes
● 91% of P.E. teachers have seen students 9carry and use inhalers before P.E. class
● 68% observed students going to the health office before P.E. class
● 100% observed inhaler use during P.E.
● 24% observed students using someone else’s inhaler
● 77% observed students going to the health office or using their inhaler after P.E. class for asthma symptoms
What is EIA?
Exercise induced asthma (or EIA) causes breathing difficulty usually 5-20 minutes after starting intense physical activity or shortly after stopping. It is more common among children than adults. Ninety precent of diagnosed asthmatics have EIA.
EIA occurs more easily in cold, dry environments than in those that are warmer and more humid.
Sports activities that are less likely to trigger EIA:
Team sports that require short bursts of energy , including:
Sports that require continuous activity or are cold weather activities are more likely to trigger EIA:
Many children do not tell their parents when they experience symptoms, but rather complain of not being able to perform as well as their classmates. Some even express a dislike for sports. Still others think it is normal to get short of breath during exercise. Exercise Induced Asthma, therefore, may lead to problems with peers and teachers and low self-esteem. Eventually, reluctance to participate in athletics will have a negative effect on their overall health.
So should people with EIA avoid exercise?
Absolutely not. In fact, exercise is even more important for asthmatics than for other people. When applying Buteyko Method, as students progress, exercise becomes an essential part of their recovery.
EIA can be overcome.
While traditionally doctors have been puzzled about EIA and think this was a different form of asthma, Buteyko theory offers a rational explanation. In the very beginning and shortly after the end of the exercise, loss of Carbon Dioxide due to hyperventilation exceeds its accumulation due to physical activity.
The AsthmaCare Program teaches patients how to overcome Exercise Induced Asthma and improve their sports performance. Following recommendations, anybody will be able to advance their fitness level and avoid breathlessness, fatigue, wheezing and coughing. Even healthy athletes who want to excel in an endurance activity with strenuous demands are going to benefit immensely from normalization of breathing.
So, what about our question, “Shouldn’t athletic youth be the healthiest?” Yes, they should. Furthermore, if the foundation of correct breathing is taught within families and at schools, they will be.
To rephrase Lao Tzu’s quote:
Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.
I would say:
Give a child an inhaler and you stop his asthma for a day. Teach him how to breathe correctly, and you’ll stop his asthma for a lifetime.
Buteyko Clinic USA offers unique breathing rehabilitation programs that result in long term drug free control over asthma, allergies, COPD, rhinitis, chronic cough, snoring, sleep apnea, anxiety, panic, chronic hyperventilation syndrome and other chronic conditions. Contact us today for a free consultation.