Exercising with oxygen therapy (also known as EWOT) has many potential benefits and can be a great way to reduce the physical stress of exercise. This is especially true if you have the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or any other respiratory illness that affects your ability to receive oxygen.
Exercising with Oxygen
One of the most popular New Year’s resolutions that is also one of the hardest to stick to is the focus on being healthier and more active. When you’re prescribed oxygen therapy it’s common to believe you will no longer be able to exercise which, often times, is not the case.
Staying active when you have been diagnosed with COPD is a great way to stay on top of your health. What’s more, working out with an oxygen concentrator has incredible health benefits aside from providing you the therapy you need. Most simply, oxygen helps you to get the most out of your work out.
A portable oxygen concentrator is an incredible device that has given thousands of patients renewed freedom and independence. Removing the tether to old, clunky, and outdated oxygen solutions opens the door to endless possibilities and experiences.
Another wonderful benefit to owning a light-weight and portable oxygen solution is your ability to exercise. Staying active and exercising may seem challenging when you suffer from COPD or other lung related illnesses. However, regular physical activity can actually help to strengthen your respiratory muscles, improve circulation and oxygen usage, and even assist in decreasing some COPD related symptoms.
Here at the Oxygen Concentrator Store by American Medical, there’s nothing that brings us more joy than hearing and seeing the freedom an oxygen concentrator can bring our customers. Kelly Ragan, writer for The Greeley Tribune, highlights an oxygen user taking back their freedom in her article Greeley Woman Teaches Water Aerobics to Classes That Become Like Family.
Diana Bleignier thought she'd grow up to be an elementary school teacher. She had a gift for interacting with people and instruction, so it seemed like a natural fit. But she didn't end up in a classroom. She wound up in a pool.
When you have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), breathing exercises are an important way to maintain your quality of life, extend your ability to exercise, and stay calm during an acute exacerbation.
With COPD, breathing can be a challenge for the following reasons:
Exercise is vital for good health and is an integral part of your overall well-being. However, when individuals have health issues, exercise can be difficult. Physical activity is even more important for those suffering from long-term illnesses, both to help in recuperation and prevent further deterioration. Oxygen therapy offers a way to make exercise less difficult for patients with chronic pulmonary diseases.
Decreased Exercise Capacity
Exercise isn’t always particularly appealing, even for those in the best of health. When a person has difficulty breathing, the idea of exercise can be downright daunting. Even if a person is determined to get the activity they need, the physical limitations from pulmonary illness may make this impossible. Breathlessness and easy fatigability prevent many pulmonary patients from getting the amount or intensity of exercise they require.
The ache you feel in your muscles, and the fatigue you feel after a good work out, is due to an event called "excess post-exercise oxygen consumption", EPOC for short, or more commonly referred to as "afterburn". The feeling you get after a hard workout, or even a mild one, might not be very comfortable, but it's an important process when it comes to getting in shape.
This fatigue and slight ache are caused by the rapid burn and decline of oxygen in your body, which happens during and a while after your workout. EPOC refers to the body's process of restoring the body's oxygen and stored fuel, as well as the oxygen deficit. This deficit was known as the body's “oxygen debt” in past decades, and it's still often called that today.
Your metabolism describes how your body uses energy to do everything it needs to do to stay alive, and function to keep us healthy. The energy is burned in the form of calories. Your metabolic rate is the rate at which your body burns calories.
You might have heard some people say that they have a "fast metabolism", and they can eat a lot without gaining weight. Someone might also have a slow metabolism, and gain weight easily. This can be the case for different people, but your metabolic rate can change. You can in fact speed up your metabolism with certain types of exercise.
Your metabolic rate actually changes throughout the day, depending on the foods you eat, what time of the day it is and your physical activity. You can even burn more calories for hours after your workout, in a process called “excess post-exercise oxygen consumption”, which can go on usually for up to 13 hours post workout.
Your body naturally takes a while to fully recover from a workout. The harder you workout, the longer it takes for it to get back to its resting state. This resting state consists of your heart and breath rate, the amount of fuel your muscles contain for movement, as well as your metabolic rate. The interesting thing is, your body continues to expend energy during this long “cool down phase”.
This phase is called excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, and it can be a very effective way to lose weight, as well as tone up your muscles. excess post-exercise oxygen consumption has also been popularly referred to as oxygen debt, or the "afterburn" you feel post workout. Amazingly, you might not feel the effects 12 hours later, but they are still happening.
Our bodies need oxygen to survive, of course, but additional oxygen helps to decrease trauma and stress. A boost of oxygen in addition to what we normally get from breathing helps our bodies to work even better to keep us healthy. That's the idea behind EWOT, or Exercising With Oxygen Therapy, and you don't need to have COPD to use it.
If you get a major injury, the first thing an EMT will do is put an oxygen mask on your face. This doesn't necessarily mean that you can't breathe, that you're not getting enough oxygen to your lungs, or that your lungs were hurt. It simply reduces the amount of stress, and prevents additional damage caused by physical stress. You'll end up healing or recovering much quicker.
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