Sleep apnea is a common disorder in which you have pauses in breathing (actually stop breathing) or shallow breaths while you sleep. Breathing pauses can last from a few seconds to minutes. They often occur 5 to 30 times or more an hour. Typically, normal breathing then starts again, sometimes with a loud snort or choking sound. The most common type of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea. This most often means that the airway has collapsed or is blocked during sleep.
When I lecture about sleep apnea and heart disease I often ask people to take a deep breath and hold it for about 20 to 30 seconds (why not try it now)…
Okay after the 30 seconds let the breath out. That is how long many people with sleep apnea stop breathing while they sleep, often several times every hour.
Take a look at this short PSA on Sleep Apnea:
Untreated sleep apnea can:
- Increase the risk for high blood pressure, heart attacks and strokes!
- Increase the risk for or worsen heart failure
- Lead to irregular heartbeats
- Increase the chance of having work-related or driving accidents
Common symptoms of sleep apnea include:
- Excessive daytime sleepiness/fatigue
- Loud snoring
- Observed episodes of breathing cessation during sleep
- Abrupt awakenings at night sometimes accompanied by shortness of breath
- Awakening with a dry mouth or sore throat
- Morning headaches
- Difficulty staying asleep (insomnia)
Sleep apnea can be treated once it is diagnosed. By treating your sleep apnea you can actually also protect your heart from future problems.
For more info on sleep apnea visit www.sleepapnea.org
For more info about risk factors for heart disease, stroke and diabetes visit www.heart-strong.com
We are nurses practitioners who have spent years taking care of people with heart disease and our mission now is to help people PREVENT heart attacks and strokes. We have written two books that may help you learn about your individual risk factors and what you can do to prevent heart problems, strokes and diabetes. “Take Charge: A Woman’s Guide to a Healthier Heart” and “Take Charge: A Man’s Roadmap to a Healthy Heart – So simple you will not even have to stop and ask for directions” – our books offer realistic steps to help you develop a healthier lifestyle, all of the information in the books comes from the latest medical guidelines available and is written in an easy to follow and understand format.
For most of us, a trip to the beach means a day of endless snacking and as little movement as possible (aside from switching sides to tan, of course). But after a few weeks of carefree lounging, we may find ourselves less distracted by the babes playing volleyball, and more concerned with our newfound arm flab and belly pooch! To avoid a summer slump, Tara Zimliki, Certified Personal Trainer and Founder of Tara’s Boot Camp, has tips to beat bikini bulge that can be done right on the beach!
In the sand…
- When going for a walk, use sand dunes to do Hill Sprints. No hills in sight? Try sprinting for 10 seconds whenever you see a beach ball or cute lifeguard. “Running on an uneven surface like sand forces your body to work harder to stay balanced, burning more calories,” says Tara . To blast even more calories, take your cooler with you
On your towel…
- While catching some rays, hold a full Plank position for one minute every time you flip over. Flip once every 5-10 minutes and before you know it, you’ll have a perfectly even tan and a solid core to show it off
- You can also perform Alternating Leg Lifts on your back or on your stomach to burn some extra calories while soaking up the sun
In the ocean…
- Give a classic fitness move a new twist by taking it to the surf. When taking a dip in the water, perform 10-15 explosive Jumping Jacks. Tara says the resistance of the ocean will help you burn more calories with each jump. Try to go as deep in the water as possible without accidentally signaling the lifeguard that you are drowning
On your beach chair…
- You can tone up while sitting down with Seated Leg Lifts. While reading a book or a magazine, simply raise your calf so it is in line with your thigh, alternating legs for 10 raises on each side. Repeat whenever the mood strikes
According to Tara , elevating your heart rate even for 30 seconds at a time allows your body to burn more calories throughout the day.
Tara practices what she preaches in all aspects of fitness and health and for this reason she is a trusted trainer that produces results. For more information, please visit www.tarasbootcamp.com
Cardio. Cardiovascular exercises increase your heart rate for a sustained period of time. This is a necessary part of being fit because it strengthens your heart muscle, which in turn helps you breathe easier and helps your heart beat more efficiently But just like anything, your body gets used to your daily cardio routine. Next time you’re at the gym, try using the interval training program on the treadmill or cross-trainer for an extra boost of heart-pumping intensity.
Strength. For first time strength trainers, adding weights to a workout routine can provide impressive results on your body and on the scale. But it takes regular updates to ensure your training routine keeps your muscles guessing. Circuit training is a great strength workout as it follows a series of strength and/or cardio exercises that offer a great way to work all the major muscle groups in a short amount of time. Many gyms offer specialty circuit classes, or have strength machines arranged in the same area making it easier to arrange your own circuit.
Flexibility. Flexibility is another key component to a well rounded program and the part that most often gets overlooked. As your muscles get worked more often, they become tight, sore and sometimes this leads to over-use injury. One way to prevent this from happening is by incorporating a good stretching routine. This will lengthen out those tight muscles and help stretch the connective tissue that surrounds them.
The Core. The core is the center of your body that holds you up and keeps you tall, much like the trunk on a tree. Strengthening your abdominals and back muscles will give you better posture, keep your body strong and tall, help you age more gracefully and help every movement you make easier. Try these balance props with free weights or a pulley-based system like the Life Fitness Dual-Adjustable Pulley and feel the difference. Example: sit on a stability ball while performing the shoulder press reps. While your arms push the resistance, your midsection muscles engage to remain balanced on the ball, toning your core.
Before you get overwhelmed … Remember, it’s not as hard as it seems. It’s all about cross training. A little bit of each is really all you need.
Fit Tips are provided by Life Fitness, the leader in designing and manufacturing high-quality exercise equipment for fitness facilities and homes worldwide. For more information on FitTips and other fitness advice and expertise visit www.lifefitness.com
During this final installment of our 3 part series about women and heart disease we will be focusing on heart problems older women are more likely to experience. Some of the things we will discuss are heart failure, diastolic dysfunction, atrial fibrillation, aortic valve disease and sudden cardiac death.
When the dull pressure of an occasional headache begins, you might chalk it up to work stress, lack of sleep or personal worries. If the ache is mild or moderate, you may consider it no big deal and simply reach for an over-the-counter drug—aspirin, acetaminophen , ibuprofen or naproxen sodium—instead of calling your health care professional.
Simple tension-type headaches are common, happening to 78 percent of adults, according to the National Headache Foundation. Such aches are dull (not stabbing or pulsating), may contract the muscles in the scalp or neck and generally occur on both sides of the head, without nausea or sensitivity to light and noise.
Yet occasional or episodic headaches may increase in frequency over time. Are you taking headache medication nearly every day, but feeling little relief? Does the aching often start when you wake up or in the evening? Are you having sleep problems?
If that describes you on 15 or more days a month, you have chronic tension-type headache. And you might also be suffering from unrecognized depression .
Although people with chronic tension-type headache often get through their daily activities, studies show they have significantly higher levels of depression , which affects overall functioning and quality of life. That depression might not be displayed as sadness or other classic signs of a depressive disorder, so the problem underlying the headaches may be missed by health care professionals and even patients themselves. What’s more, chronic pain itself can lead to depression .
If you suffer from chronic headaches, get help now to end the pain:
- Anyone taking headache medication more than two days a week needs to be examined by a medical professional. See your primary care provider or a specialist at a headache clinic (often affiliated with hospitals).
- Even if you are not depressed, antidepressants are often prescribed for chronic tension-type headache. These drugs provide more pain relief than standard over-the-counter medications.
- Biofeedback has also been shown to be helpful in ending chronic headache.
For more information on chronic pain, visit: www.healthywomen.org/healthcenter/chronic-pain
For more information on mental health, visit: www.healthywomen.org/healthcenter/mental-health
For more information on managing stress, visit: www.healthywomen.org/ages-and-stages/healthy-living/managing-stress
© 2010 HealthyWomen All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission from HealthyWomen. 1-877-986-9472 (toll-free). On the Web at: www.HealthyWomen.org.
A recent study in the June issue of Medicine and Science in Sport and Exercise reported the women who drank two glasses of milk after weight lifting exercise gained more muscle mass and lost more fat than women who drank the energy, sugar-based drinks.
While resistance training is less common an activity women choose, it does have major health benefits. Resistance training is good for muscle and bone health as well as improving metabolic health. Many women also avoid dairy products for they believe they are “fattening” foods/drinks.
For 12 weeks, the study followed young women who did not do resistance training exercises. They began 3 types of training exercises: pushing (bench press or chest fly), pulling (lateral pull downs or abdominal exercises) and leg exercises (presses or curls). Each day the women did not eat or drink 2 hours prior to exercise, except for water. Immediately following exercise and one hour after exercise the women drank either 500ml of fat free white milk or 500ml of a sugar based energy drink looking similar to the milk.
The results were a gain in lean muscle mass without a gain in weight because there was a balance due to loss of body fat. Investigators are not quite sure why there was the loss of fat as well as the gain in muscle. They state it may be the calcium, protein and Vitamin D that may be part of the answer.
The bottom line is that simple lifestyle changes like adding some resistance training and drinking some fat free milk can significantly improve a woman’s body composition! So girls (and guys too-an earlier study found the same results in men) let’s get moving and lifting!!!
Looking for more info about what beverages to drink – the facts about water, coffee, tea, alcohol, fruit juice check out our e-book “You are what you Drink” at http://heart-strong.com/products.html
If you are looking for more heart healthy tips and info please check out our website and our 2 books about preventing heart disease, stroke and diabetes www.heart-strong.com
“Take Charge: A Woman’s Guide to a Healthier Heart” and “Take Charge: A Man’s Roadmap to a Healthy Heart – So simple you will not even have to stop and ask for directions” – our books offer realistic steps to help you develop a healthier lifestyle, all of the information in the books comes from the latest medical guidelines available and is written in an easy to follow and understand format.