Are you breathing properly right now? If you’re reading this I would assume you’re lungs are working and you are in fact breathing. But, did you know the way you breathe can affect your health?

1 in 5 of us struggle to get enough sleep, 74% of the nation feels stressed and breathing can minimise the amount of stress we experience. “We take over 20,000 breaths automatically a day, but breathing still doesn’t always get the recognition it deserves,” neuropsychologist Dr. Elisabeth Honinx from moonbird, says.

“From helping you sleep better to reducing feelings of depression or anxiety, breathing can be the secret to living a healthier, happier, and even longer life - you simply have to harness it.”

Dr. Honinx shares five breathing exercises that can help you harness the power of your breath and lead a happier, healthier life - from breathing ‘in a box’ to switching up nostrils. Here are 5 breathing exercises to help you improve your life.

4-7-8 breathing

“Not only can this technique help you sleep better, but according to a study from earlier this year, the 4-7-8 breathing exercise can help slow down your heart rate, lower your blood pressure, and even reduce your blood sugar levels,” Honinx says.

“Find a quiet spot to sit down - you can sit cross-legged or even rest against a wall. Inhale through your nose for 4 counts, hold your breath for 7, then exhale through your mouth for 8. Repeat this for 5 minutes.”

Box breathing

“No, this technique doesn’t require you to sit in a box - instead, you follow a ‘squared’ breathing pattern that has been shown to be a great way to relax.”

Honinx continues: “sit up straight in a comfortable chair with your feet on the floor. Complete this cycle taking 4 seconds for each step: Inhale, hold your breath, exhale, hold your breath. Repeat for 4 minutes.”

Alternate nostril breathing

“This technique is as simple as it sounds but can have an amazing effect on your health, with one study finding it can improve your heart function and lower your blood pressure,” Honinx explains.

“Sit on a chair, the floor, or on the edge of your bed. Using your right thumb, close your right nostril while inhaling through the left. When you are ready to exhale, cover your left nostril instead and breathe out through your right. Inhale again, but through your right nostril, and then exhale through your left. Repeat this cycle for 5 minutes.”

Diaphragmatic breathing

“Diaphragmatic breathing is also called belly breathing, but you don’t want to focus on your stomach for this one. This deep breathing technique is especially effective, with studies revealing it may help in reducing stress, migraines and even help those struggling with eating disorders,” Honinx says.

“Sit down or lie on your back with one hand on your upper chest and another on your belly just below your ribcage - this is where your diaphragm is. Breathe in through your nose slowly while counting to 4, feeling your stomach pushing your hand out while the hand on your chest stays still.”

She adds: “hold your breath for 1 second before slowly exhaling through your mouth while counting to 4, engaging your abdominal muscles to help push the air out. Repeat for 5-10 minutes.”

Pursed lip breathing

“This simple breathing technique can help you breathe more intentionally, plus it has been shown to be beneficial to those with respiratory issues like COPD and asthma, so pucker up!”

“Find somewhere comfortable to sit, ensuring that your neck and shoulders stay relaxed. Inhale through your nose for a count of 2 before exhaling for 4. As you exhale, purse your lips as though you are gearing up for a kiss. Repeat for 5 minutes,” Honinx says.

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Hands up if you wear a fitness tracker. From rings that track our sleep to watches measuring steps, we’ve come a long way from the simple pedometer (remember those?). Statistics show that around 82% of active people wear a smart tracker, and post-pandemic, we’re all about knowing how stressed we are. Wearable tech that analyses heart rate, breathing patterns and oxygen levels is taking off, but is it really as good as it sounds?

“Wearables that include a stress tracker function, use physiological measurements to offer an insight into the kind of stresses put on the body through exercise or in everyday life,” explains Dr Rachael Kent, University College London lecturer and author of The Digital Health Self: Wellness, Tracking And Social Media

“Stress trackers across the consumer market have varying levels of ‘intelligence’ when it comes to monitoring your stress. The majority of exercise-oriented trackers focus on metrics which monitor your heart rate variability (HRV). This measures the time intervals between your heartbeats, and in turn stress trackers monitor small fluctuations in your heart’s function, which may be linked to age, health status, time of day, but also your mental health and physical health.”

Pretty clever stuff. 

What are the benefits of stress trackers?

There’s nothing quite as impactful as seeing your health information in black and white, and having a daily reminder in the form of a wearable device can bring valuable insight into when and why we are feeling stressed.

“Seeing this information on a wearable can be a really useful motivator for behavioural change in your everyday life,” agrees Dr Kent. “Data insights can be really helpful when we’re looking to make lifestyle changes.”

“Using these devices can be a useful tool to help you determine what is stressing you out and how it might be impacting you physically,” explains doctor and personal trainer Dr Aishah Iqbal. “They allow us to see if and how our body is responding to stress-causing stimuli and provide insight into when you might be experiencing stress, especially if you had not consciously recognised you were being stressed out by a situation.”

What are the downsides of wearable stress trackers?

“I’ve been researching the impact of these wearables on mental and physical health for a while now,” says Dr Kent, “and research shows that the line between these trackers being insightful and provoking increased stress can become really blurred and challenging to navigate, both emotionally and in terms of our mental health.”

Put simply, for some of us, knowing exactly how stressed we are leads to more stress and anxiety.

“Imagine if every time you felt stressed, someone pointed that out to you. How would that make you feel?” challenges Dr Kent. “Or even if you weren’t feeling stressed, [if] someone said that you looked stressed or were acting stressed out. On the one hand, it might be helpful, empathetic and supportive; on the other hand, you might feel even more stressed, visibly anxious or perhaps think that maybe you are stressed when internally you don’t actually feel it.”

Phone showing health tracking app
Experts warn that over-monitoring health stats can increase anxiety

How can we use stress trackers more effectively?

If you still like the idea of being more aware of what’s going on in your body but don’t want the stress, there are ways to wear a tracker without spiralling into anxiety.

“My advice is everything in moderation when it comes to wearables,” suggests Dr Kent. “While useful, they can also prompt these stress-inducing emotional and physical responses. But if you are able to spot red flags and ditch the device if you recognise any of them regularly when you use your tracker, you’ll be more able to keep fit and healthy and have a fit and healthy relationship with your device.”

Don’t follow the tracker over your own instincts

It may sound obvious, but don’t focus on what your tracker is telling you and overlook how you’re actually feeling. “Stress trackers reduce your body and stress levels to data,” explains Dr Kent. “While this can be a useful visualisation, it can be over-simplistic and reductive. The power of suggestion is real and can cause increased stress, so it’s important to focus on human instinct and how you feel – not what the device tells you you’re feeling.”

Don’t over-police yourself

We all know people who fastidiously check their sleep patterns and step counts, and stress trackers certainly draw our attention into a cycle of self-analysis and (sometimes useful) behavioural change. 

“[This] can lead to comparative exhaustion, where your continually benchmark your own behaviour against yourself every day,” warns Dr Kent. 

“Examining the minutia of your daily habits to draw conclusions about stress can be insightful, but it can make you over-police or self-regulate your behaviours, which might over time feel coercive or controlling. It’s important to remember that data insights do not show the whole picture of your body and all the unquantifiable elements that make us human.”

Be mindful of the data you’re sharing

Most of us as pretty savvy when it comes to privacy settings on our phones or computers, but don’t forget your wearable device.

“Many health apps sell your data to third parties,” explains Dr Kent. “Be aware of only sharing data that you think is absolutely necessary for your fitness routine and keeping personal information sharing to an absolute minimum to enable privacy, just as you would with any other device.” 

If you’re concerned about data sharing, check your gadget’s privacy policy and terms and conditions, and make sure you opt out of anything you’re not comfortable with.

And remember – simply wearing the stress tracker won’t magically improve your health. “It’s important to highlight that not all devices are 100% accurate and there is a degree of error when tracking heart rates using such devices,” advises Dr Iqbal. “The data we can gather via wearable tech is simply a snapshot. Ultimately, the key is to think about how you can improve your lifestyle to feel less stressed, rather than trying hard to get the numbers down.”

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Let’s be honest, no one really works on their tricep strength – that’s why chair dips feel so horribly hard. But working on pushing movements (like press-ups, bench presses and, yes, chair dips) is great for improving your upper-body strength. And before you say, ‘but why do runners need upper-body strength anyway? Isn’t running just about your legs?’ – let us remind you that having a strong upper body can benefit your running...

Why? When you start to tire mid-run, it’s usually your upper-body posture that’s the first thing to go. You begin to slouch – which then restricts your breathing – and poor posture quickly leads to poor running form. If the muscles in your back and shoulders are strong, however, you'll be able to hold a stronger, more upright running posture. Having strong shoulders and arms will also help you to adopt a more powerful arm swing, which again will improve your running form.

What are chair dips?

‘The chair dip is an isolation exercise for the triceps, the muscles at the back of the arms, and it also works the muscles that stabilise the shoulders,’ explains Graeme Woodward, a UK Athletics Level 3 performance coach, UKSCA accredited S&C coach and We Run coach for West Yorkshire.

‘It is a general upper body strengthening exercise that should be done in conjunction with others to give an all-around conditioning effect. The chair dip can put the shoulders in an awkward position so should be treated with caution if a runner has a history of shoulder or neck issues.’

How to do chair dips

chair dip

  1. Sit on the edge of a bench or chair, hands supporting your weight.
  2. Position your feet away from the bench, legs straight and heels on the floor.
  3. Lower yourself until your upper arms are parallel to the ground, then push back up.

    Sets/reps: Two sets of 10-15 reps

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February is American Heart Month

JEANNE FLECKNER, 82, poses for a photo with Derek Spong, the Exercise Specialist at Health First’s Melbourne Cardiac Rehab. Health First is opening a new Viera location on February 15 inside its Pro-Health & Fitness Center at 8705 N. Wickham Road in Melbourne. (Health First image)

An exclusive exercise program helped Jeanne Fleckner have an amazing recovery. Now, it’s coming to Pro-Health & Fitness in Viera.

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Mowing the lawn probably isn’t a big deal for most. Just don’t tell that to Jeanne Fleckner.

Last June, Fleckner was starting out in Health First’s Cardiac Rehab program following an open sternotomy aortic valve replacement. After surgery, she could only tolerate about 15 feet of walking – about 3 to 4 minutes of continuous exercise – before she’d need to take a break.

That’s not the case anymore. In early November, Fleckner joyfully celebrated her 82nd birthday with family and friends, in addition to graduating from Cardiac Rehab.

Oh, and mowing the lawn.

“This is definitely how you get better after going through something like this with your heart,” Fleckner said. “The program and the routine are what helped me recover from this.”

A Trip to the Heart Center

Earlier this year at home, Fleckner, known by her family and friends as the “Parisian Princess,” experienced an irregular heartbeat. Her neighbor quickly took her to Health First’s Holmes Regional Medical Center.

After finding out it was atrial fibrillation and her heart had a leaking valve, then going through consultation and surgery with Health First Cardiothoracic Surgeon Tamim Antaki, MD, Fleckner immediately felt comfortable with everyone she saw at the hospital’s Heart Center.

“Dr. Antaki was especially wonderful with my mom,” said her daughter, Suzanne Fleckner.

“Right after he met her, he would come into the room singing French songs to her. And she told him he was her favorite French singer during the start of surgery – that’s a special team! Everyone in the building, the Physician Assistants, the staff at Cardiac Rehab, everybody was amazing with her. We’re so grateful for this giant team.”

After successful surgery, Fleckner joined Health First’s Cardiac Rehab program. When she began the program, she could barely walk 15 feet without having to stop for a breath.

Health First Cardiothoracic Surgeon Tamim Antaki, MD. (Health First image)

A 300% Improvement

The program’s designed for people discharged from the hospital after a cardiac event. Whether surgery was involved or not, the program assists patients in aligning their lifestyles in a way that’s best for their heart.

Think exercise, diet, and psychological mind shifts. It’s offered at 611 E. Sheridan Road, Melbourne, across from Holmes Regional Medical Center. There are also plans to open a second location in Winter 2023 at Pro-Health & Fitness-Viera.

Fleckner, who was born in Brittany, France, in 1940, before moving to Paris in 1966, began Cardiac Rehab last July. She said the staff were so nice to her and would say, “Yeah, you can do it, you will get better,” in such a nice, positive way.

At the one-month mark, Fleckner said she began to feel a huge difference in the way she felt. No more losing her breath. She was walking farther than ever, and most importantly, her heart’s pumping rate improved 300 percent.

The Phases of Improvement

Darren Hill, Health First Cardiac Rehabilitation Supervisor, and his team see people of all ages with heart conditions after an illness, typically those who’ve had surgery – varying from stent placement to a heart transplant.

This life-changing team includes a medical director, supervising physicians, nurses, and exercise physiologists to help with physical and psychological ways to make it a lifestyle.

JEANNE FLECKNER joyfully celebrated her 82nd birthday with family and friends, in addition to graduating from Cardiac Rehab. Oh, and mowing the lawn.

The cardiac rehab program is made up of three phases:

■ Phase 1: It starts in the hospital as you’re recovering from a cardiac illness or surgery. As an inpatient, we put you on the path to a healthier heart by teaching you and showing you how to exercise at the right pace for you.
■ Phase 2: Once you’re out of the hospital, we’ll get you on the right track with our physician-supervised outpatient program, incorporating exercise, education, and teamwork. You’ll get access to electrocardiogram (ECG) heart-monitored exercise training, education, and counseling. And it’ll help you fully grasp your heart condition – and find ways to reduce the risk of future heart problems. Expect to spend an hour, three times a week, in the program. Customers are typically cleared for a total of 36 visits. (The program is based on the American Association of Cardio-Vascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation’s recommended model, along with Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services guidelines.)
■ Phase 3: You’ve completed Cardiac Rehab. Now, our team tailors a plan for you so that you can continue an exercise program with cardiac rehab, Pro-Health & Fitness, or in the community. We’ll even meet with the staff to coordinate an orientation program designed just for you and your cardiac needs.
So, that’s how it works. But what about the benefits? They can include:
■ Stopping or reversing damage to your heart’s blood vessels
■ Improving your strength – and getting you back to your favorite activities
■ Controlling shortness of breath, or worse, chest pain

With Cardiac Rehab, patients can improve their heart’s ejection fraction – a measure of how much-oxygenated blood is pumped in one heartbeat.

Hill said Fleckner’s condition was improved by team coaching. There, she learned about risk factors, life habit changes, nutrition, medications, and psychological factors that contribute to cardiac health.

Fleckner still maintains her workout routine three times a week at her own health club. She’s also busy cooking, meeting with friends, and enjoying her family.

For information about cardiac rehabilitation, call 321-434-8889. The new Viera location inside Pro-Health & Fitness Center at 8705 N. Wickham Road in Melbourne opens this month.

Jeanne Fleckner, above center, who was born in Brittany, France, in 1940, before moving to Paris in 1966, began Cardiac Rehab last July. She said the staff were so nice to her and would say, “Yeah, you can do it, you will get better,” in such a nice, positive way.

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SPRINGFIELD — February is American Heart Month and Mercy Health knows that staying active is one of the best ways to prevent cardiovascular disease, the number one killer of both men and women.

“Exercise really is the best medicine. It can improve blood pressure, increase good cholesterol, lower your blood sugar, even help the parts of our body that are impacted negatively with stress,” explained Lisa McClure, RN supervisor of Cardiopulmonary Wellness for Mercy Health.

Mercy Health offers intense cardiac rehabilitation programs in Springfield and Urbana to help patients who are recovering from surgery or medical treatment related to a heart issue. These medically supervised programs support patients through guided exercises to help get their heart pumping, education on ways to prevent heart disease such as healthier eating habits and stress reduction counseling.

“We have an entire staff that consists of registered nurses and exercise physiologists who work with your doctor to develop a program that is unique to you and your needs,” said McClure. “Every day is a meaningful one for a heart healthy lifestyle, so I strongly recommend all patients, especially if they already have been diagnosed with heart disease, to take advantage of the available programs, be proactive and build a stronger as well as healthier heart lifestyle.”

According to the World Health Organization, 80% of all heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes can be prevented through healthier lifestyle choices. That starts at home and can involve small, simple steps.

“You can go for a walk around your neighborhood, take a hike, join a dance class, even gardening can be included in exercises that are good for your heart health,” said McClure who strongly believes in choosing an activity you enjoy. “If you like doing it, it’s something you can stick with and that’s the key. You want to choose things that are going to be sustainable. It may look different for everyone.”

When deciding on what type of activity is best, just remember the most effective heart healthy workouts do two things — increase your heart rate and cause you to breathe a little faster. If you’d like to monitor your heart rate, then start by calculating your maximum heart rate. You do this by subtracting your age from 220. For good heart health, you want to stay between 50% – 80% of that resulting number.

For example, a 40-year-old’s maximum heart rate would be 180 beats per minute. That means when working out, this person would want to maintain a heart rate between 90 and 144. Health experts recommend getting in 150 minutes of exercise a week at this pace. However, the numbers are just a guideline to help you get your heart rate up. The most important thing is to listen to your body.

“Certain medications can keep your heart rate from going up the same way it would if you aren’t taking medications. There are other factors that can change what’s considered the right intensity level for you. So, make sure to tell your doctor you want to get moving so you can talk about what the parameters should be to make sure it’s safe for you to get moving,” said McClure.

For more heart health tips and to learn about the cardiac services available at Mercy Health, visit

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A never-before seen medical ailment has evolved in the world over the last few years as a result of the worldwide COVID-19 epidemic.

The condition, called “Long COVID-19,” is still so novel that intervention research is only beginning to emerge.

But La Mesa Rehab has already used all available data at hand to create a new, intensive program for those suffering from its symptoms. La Mesa Rehab will reportedly continue to refine its protocols as scientists and doctors learn more about the disease’s etiology.

Long COVID-19 is a condition defined as the continuation, recurrence of, or emergence of virus symptoms lasting more than four weeks after recovery from the initial, acute phase of the disease. Some patients’ symptoms last up to two years. As of the June 2022 report from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC,) 1 in 13 adults in the U.S. (7.5%) had Long COVID-19 symptoms.

La Mesa Rehab’s new Long COVID-19 program is offering continuity of care, working as a total network for patients with the condition. It’s a team approach, with pulmonologists, respiratory therapists, and physical therapists working together for the betterment of “long haulers,” as they’ve come to be known.

Treatment plans unique to each patient

Each patient gets a new treatment plan that differs from that of any other patient because of the widely-varying symptoms across the population, as well as symptoms that change over time within an individual.

These may include: difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, chest tightness or pain, stomach pain, headache, low stamina, fatigue or weakness. And with these sensations comes fear. One patient at the clinic described their plight “You take for granted, that you’re going to breathe…it’s such a natural thing. And when that gets taken away, it’s very scary!”

According to Tami Peavy, MBA, DPT, and founder of La Mesa Rehab, what makes their treatments so unique is that “We design individual protocols, with respiratory therapy and physical therapy at the center of the program. We identify patients’ symptoms and address them systematically and adjust their protocols accordingly.”

Respiratory and physical therapists work closely with referring physicians, together designing individually-tailored programs that reduce shortness of breath, eliminate mucus, and increase lung capacity through exercise, postural strengthening, and breathing techniques. Specialized equipment and techniques are employed in order to more quickly and effectively achieve results. A few of these treatments include: vest therapy, bubble breathing, oxygen therapy, nebulizer treatments, gas exchange analysis, and balloon therapy.

Salt chamber therapy is the newest tool in the arsenal

Salt chamber therapy involves the inhalation by patients of dry salt in the form of a mist to clear lung mucus. Saline solution is placed in a nebulizer, a device that facilitates the inhalation of the mist into the lungs. Compressed oxygen or ultrasonic power breaks up the medicinal liquid into small aerosol droplets that are inhaled from a mouthpiece. Corticosteroids or bronchodilators can be added to the nebulizer to extend the effectiveness.

This procedure is administered within a specially designed salt chamber. The process, also called halotherapy, is quite remarkable, especially considering that it’s derived from a naturally-occurring substance. Dry salt particles shrink and liquefy lung mucus plugs that obstruct airways and aggravate breathing issues. The particles accelerate mucus transport and allow for enhanced cough efficiency. Coughs are more “productive” and the lungs are relived of mucus.

Peavy, a practicing clinician and innovative thinker, came up with the novel methodology. The lofty goal, which she successfully achieved, was to enhance the benefits of pulmonary rehabilitation, and minimize patients’ reliance on prescriptions. Previously, patients would have had to undergo bronchoscopies to remove such mucus plugs.

La Mesa Rehab’s new Long COVID-19 program is based on the clinic’s experience with other lung impairments and diseases. These include chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD,) emphysema, chronic bronchitis, pulmonary hypertension, pulmonary fibrosis, and bronchiectasis. Therapists share their knowledge of these conditions with each other and with those who come to them for help. Patient education is provided to help get people with Long COVID-19 back to work more quickly, which is more important than ever during these times of economic difficulty and diminished workplace numbers.

Most lung diseases are treated with drug therapies, including steroids and inhalers. However, numerous published medical reports have shown that pulmonary rehabilitation is much more effective at easing symptoms, and results in a superior quality of life. It has also been documented that improved lung function leads to greater longevity, strength, and endurance, and reduces the number of hospitalizations and readmissions.

For more information, call (619) 466-6077 or view their website at:

The facility is located at: 8380 Center Drive, Suite E, La Mesa.

Editor’s note: This article was provided by Carol Holland Lifshitz.

Photo credit:

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Tanya Bunce, RN (Photo provided)


Following treatment for cardiovascular disease, the road to recovery starts with a cardiac rehabilitation program like the one offered at the Cayuga Center for Healthy Living. Patients with qualifying cardiac diagnoses receive medically monitored exercise and risk management education through the Cayuga Medical Center program. This program is certified by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation.

Numerous studies show that patients who participate in a cardiac rehabilitation program feel better, live a heart-healthier lifestyle, regain strength and reduce their cardiovascular disease risks.

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For people living with a heart condition, long COVID has added yet another
concern to their list of worries.

Research suggests that you are at increased risk of blood clots, heart
attack, heart failure, inflammation of the heart, and abnormal heartbeat
following a COVID-19 infection. One in three adults that has had COVID-19
experiences long COVID symptoms that can last weeks to months after the initial

Long COVID can affect anyone who contracts the virus, but recovery can be
especially complicated for those with a condition. Led by Dr. Shahzad
Ahmed, the

Cardiac Care program at Lower Bucks Hospital

provides specialized care for patients in the Philadelphia area who have
been diagnosed with heart conditions and are experiencing long COVID. 

Common heart symptoms following a COVID-19 infection:

  1. Fatigue, feeling tired
  2. Pounding heartbeat or palpitations
  3. Trouble breathing-shortness of breath
  4. Pain in chest- chest tightness
  5. Fast heartbeat
  6. Lightheadedness or dizziness
  7. Difficulty in sleeping
  8. Blood clots

What can you for your heart care if you have long COVID?

  1. You should continue heart healthy habits like exercise
  2. Stay on your heart medications unless advised by your doctor
  3. Watch out for any new symptoms that could be attributed to COVID

How can you prevent long COVID?

Stay up to date on your vaccinations and get appropriate boosters as new
strains of COVID-19 are emerging. It will prevent you from infection. Use
proper barrier precautions and follow your local health care advisories.

If you have heart symptoms, please don’t delay your care because of fear of
contracting COVID. All healthcare settings are required to have safety
measures in place to protect you from COVID-19. Call 911 in an emergency. 

Dr. Ahmed is currently accepting new patients at BMC Cardiology Practice, located at 501
Bath Road in Bristol. For more information or to schedule an appointment,
please call 215-785-5100.

About Shahzad Ahmed, MD, FACC, FSCAI, RPVI, Interventional Cardiologist, Director of Cardiology

Limited - Dr. Shahzad Ahmed MD, FACC, FSCAI, RPVI

Dr. Shahzad Ahmed

Dr. Ahmed is Board Certified in Interventional Cardiology, Cardiovascular
Medicine, Echocardiography, Nuclear Cardiology, Vascular Ultrasound, and
Internal Medicine. He was appointed Assistant Professor of Medicine at
Drexel University College of Medicine. Under his leadership, Lower Bucks Hospital has started many
new programs, including same-day discharge after percutaneous coronary
intervention, venous and pulmonary thrombectomy, carotid stenting and
implementing the radial first approach (cardiac cath through arteries of

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Scouted/The Daily Beast/Retailers.

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If you’re exercising without one of the best smartwatches for Android users, you’re missing out on the opportunity to measure your progress and make your workouts more fun. Having technology on your wrist has become a norm in the world of fitness, according to Connor Derrickson, a fitness performance coach at Future, the app that pairs you with a world-class fitness coach who manages your ongoing fitness remotely.

“In recent years, we seem to have evolved more and more towards prioritizing our health and fitness by utilizing technology and information,” he says. That’s because tracking fitness adds another component to your workout. “Fitness watches make training, exercising, or even walking fun because it becomes a competition—a game in which you are trying to beat yourself every single day.”

If you’re not a member of the Apple Universe (or you want something compatible with both Android and Apple devices), don’t worry, there are plenty of excellent Android smartwatches on the market. And, if you’re new to this whole sports watch trend, Derrickson offers a few tips on what to look for when choosing one of the best Android-compatible smartwatches for crushing your new year’s fitness goals.

Monitoring Heart Rate. “You obviously want something that will monitor your heart rate while you are wearing it, but you also want it to show your workout heart rate as well as your resting heart rate - and you want it to be accurate,” Derrickson says.

Tracking Calories Burned. “Many people like to know how many calories they are burning throughout the day as well as throughout one episode of training.” And if your watch has this feature, Derrickson says it can create a fun challenge for you to burn more calories each day and also see how caloric burn is affected by various training intensities.

Watch Compatibility. You need to understand how your watch works with your phone, etc. “Also, there are some watches that struggle more with third-party apps and will operate at slower speeds when downloading them, so keep this in mind,” Derrickson advises.

Battery Life. If your watch is going to die every day, Derrickson warns that you’re going to be frustrated. “It is annoying when you need to be wearing the watch for it to collect data, yet it dies so quickly and spends a lot of time on the charger.”

Tom Holland, exercise physiologist, elite endurance athlete, and author of, The Micro Workout Plan, agrees and adds that the watch should be able to withstand the type of exercise you’ll be engaging in. “For example, choose a rugged watch for tough, outdoor workouts like mountain biking and rock climbing, and a waterproof watch for paddleboarding and windsurfing.”

And he offers something else to consider. “Decide if you want a watch that you’ll take off when you’re done working out or one that’s fashionable,” Holland says. “Do you want something that not only tracks the metrics of your workouts, but is something you’d wear to work, going out at night, etc.?” Scroll through below to check out some of the best smartwatches for Android users to help crush your new year’s resolutions.

Google Pixel Watch With Fitbit Activity Tracking

With fitness and health features powered by Fitbit, the Google Pixel LTE smartwatch can also track sleep and heart rate and assess heart rhythm. The active zone feature tracks minutes, steps, and calories and lets you choose from 40 different exercise modes. In addition, the smartwatch does everything a smartphone can, like answering calls, receiving text messages, responding to emails, and listening to music. Plus, it can also be synced with your smartphone to control your thermostat and lights and the battery lasts for up to 24 hours.

Buy Google Pixel Watch With Fitbit Activity Tracking at Amazon, $400

Buy Google Pixel Watch With Fitbit Activity Tracking at Best Buy, $400

itbit Sense 2 Advanced Health and Fitness Smartwatch

Fitbit makes some of the most popular smartwatches on the market, and the advanced Fitbut Sense 2 is perhaps its best model to date. You can track everything from steps, distance, and calories, while monitoring your breathing rate, resting heart rate, heart rate variability, skin temperature, and blood oxygen saturation. The watch also includes a sleep tracker that gauges how long you’ve slept—and provides a sleep score—along with a Daily Readiness Score to help you decide how intense your workout should be that day. Built-in GPS and voice assistants add to the watch’s functionality, and you can also get call and text notifications and pay from your wrist. The battery lasts for at least six days.

Buy itbit Sense 2 Advanced Health and Fitness Smartwatch at Amazon, $295

Amazfit T-Rex 2 Smart Watch

If you engage in intense workouts – including surfing, rock climbing, and skiing— the Amazfit T-Rex 2 is a rugged, military-grade smartwatch that can withstand all of your adventures. It’s equipped with a -40-degree F temperature resistance, 240h humidity resistance, 158-degree heat resistance, and 96h salt spray resistance. With just one tap, you can measure your breathing and heart rate, stress level, and blood oxygen level. Plus, the strength recognition feature detects which muscles are being activated during specific exercises—how cool is that? The watch has a 24-day battery life, supports over 150 sports modes, and has GPS 5 satellite positioning.

Buy Amazfit T-Rex 2 Smart Watch at Amazon, $190

SUUNTO 9 Peak & Peak Pro

The SUUNTO 9 Peak is so thin and sleek that, at first glance, you might think it’s too stylish to be a practical workout smartwatch. But you’d be wrong, as it is as strong and durable as attractive. The touchscreen watch face is made of sapphire glass and grade 5 titanium and provides several health measurements, including heart rate, stress, blood oxygen, and sleep tracking. It has built-in GPS and 3D heatmaps, in addition to guided navigation. You can control music and bypass your phone to connect the watch to your headphones or earbuds. The watch can also provide weather reports and alerts when there’s a storm approaching. Battery life is 25 hours with GPS and up to seven days when in tour mode.

Buy SUUNTO 9 Peak & Peak Pro at Amazon, $518

Withings ScanWatch Hybrid Smartwatch & Activity Tracker

Sometimes, workout smartwatches can be too convoluted to be truly useful. However, the Withings ScanWatch is a hybrid smartwatch with a classic design and clean face. There’s a section at the top that provides health information, such as heart rate tracking, respiratory monitoring, and sleep tracking and analysis. The watch also has a step tracker and workout mode that can automatically track running, biking, swimming, and other activities and log this information in the Health Mate companion app. The ScanWatch, which also provides smartphone notifications, is waterproof up to 50 meters, and the watch’s battery lasts up to 30 days.

Buy Withings ScanWatch Hybrid Smartwatch & Activity Tracker at Amazon, $300

Mobvoi Ticwatch GTH Pro Smartwatch Arty

Another economically-priced workout watch, the Mobvoi TicWatch GTH Pro has all of the essentials you would want, including personalized watch faces. From continuous heart rate monitoring and arterial health scores to blood oxygen measurement and also sleep tracking—the watch even provides guidance on how to improve sleep scores. When working out, there are 14 workout modes, ranging from cycling indoors to walking outdoors to playing basketball. The watch is water resistant up to 50 meters, and it has up to 10 days of battery life.

Buy Mobvoi Ticwatch GTH Pro Smartwatch Arty at Mobvoi, $null

Buy Mobvoi Ticwatch GTH Pro Smartwatch Arty at Amazon, $99

Wahoo ELEMNT Rival Running Multisport GPS Smartwatch

The Wahoo ELEMNT Rival provides structured workout tools, which makes it a great choice for those who run, cycle, or swim. In fact, it even has race day features for touchless transitioning between different activities. The watch has a track running profile and running dynamics to provide real-time data. The watch has 12 pre-loaded workouts and the ability to connect to a TrainingPeaks account. It can also control your music, alarm, and provide smart notifications. Battery life is 24 hours in GPS workout mode and two weeks in smartwatch mode.

Buy Wahoo ELEMNT Rival Running Multisport GPS Smartwatch at Amazon, $330

SAMSUNG Galaxy Watch 4 40mm Smartwatch With ECG Monitor

Samsung makes some of the best watches for Android users. They can be pretty pricey; however, the Samsung Galaxy 4 is a more economical option that still delivers the goods. It has plenty of apps and can track everything from blood oxygen saturation to sleep disturbances. There are also almost 100 workouts, including running, swimming, and rowing. You can use the watch for contactless payment and for smart home control, in addition to step-by-step directions using GPS. Battery life is approximately 40 hours.

Buy SAMSUNG Galaxy Watch 4 40mm Smartwatch With ECG Monitor at Amazon, $198

Buy SAMSUNG Galaxy Watch 4 40mm Smartwatch With ECG Monitor at Samsung, $200


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You continuously work out your body. Therefore, why not exercise your respiratory muscles?

That question led to the developing of a brand-new "secret weapon" that has been secretly enhancing professional athletes' performance for years. It takes the shape of a miniature breathing training tool that, until recently, was exclusively accessible to a select group of top athletes.

However, all of that has changed because of a significant public release spearheaded by international soccer star Tim Cahill, which has sparked interest among athletes and regular gym users.

The device is entirely safe and perfectly natural, which is crucial. Since it improves your breathing muscles and cleans your airways without using medicines, it is currently permitted in all competitions.

Place the Better Breathing Sport mouthpiece against your lips and breathe through it to generate gentle, positive pressure pulses that assist clean and optimizing oxygen flow, boosting power and endurance.

Athletes of all skill levels targeting by the marketing of Better Breathing Sport, a patented, award-winning product that has the support of pro athletes. However, amateur athletes and anyone who wishes to increase lung capacity and oxygen intake also enjoy using Better Breathing Sport.

Do the claims made about Better Breathing Sport hold? Better Breathing Sport: How Does It Work? Read on for our review of Better Breathing Sport to learn everything you need to know.

A cutting-edge new tool called Better Breathing Sport was created to help you breathe better by clearing and expanding your lungs. You just need 8–10 breaths of a few seconds before exercise, and it is simple to use.

The more oxygen your muscles and tendons receive, the more heat they produce, the more suppleness they gain, and the less likely they are to break. The additional oxygen provided by the Better Breathing Sport spirometer also helps speed up muscle recovery by preventing lactic acid buildup.

The more oxygen your muscles and tendons receive, the more heat they produce, the more suppleness they gain, and the less likely they are to break. The additional oxygen provided by the Better Breathing Sport spirometer also helps speed up muscle recovery by preventing lactic acid buildup.

Let's look into the Better Breathing Sports Device in detail through this review. If you want to get to know more about how to exercise your respiratory muscles, we highly recommend you read this Better Breathing Sport review until the end. We will be discussing the product through the following sections. 

●    What Is A Better Breathing Sport?

●    Why Would You Use A Respiratory Training Device?

●    How Does Better Breathing Sport?

●    Features Of Better Breathing Sport

●    How To Use Better Breathing Sport?

●    Benefits Of Better Breathing Sport

●    What's Inside Better Breathing Sport?

●    Where To Buy Better Breathing Sport?

●    Conclusion On Better Breathing Sport Reviews

What Is A Better Breathing Sport?

A breathing aid called Better Breathing Sport helps to clean airways, enhance oxygen supply, and improve performance and endurance. It is secure, natural, and simple to use.

You exhale via Better Breathing Sport while holding it close to your lips. The gadget gently resists your breathing and uses moderate positive pressure pulses to accomplish specific results.

Other breath-training tools are available now and sold online. Better Breathing Sport is the first program created exclusively for athletes to enhance sports performance. For instance, you can improve athletic performance by utilizing Better Breathing Sport 30 minutes before working out.

Better Breathing Sport employs a ground-breaking method to gradually enhance your breathing while raising your level of athletic performance. Top companies trust it because it is secure and works swiftly, and leading athletes worldwide rely on it since it is closed, efficient, and safe.

And unlike other performance-enhancing methods, the advantages increase with continued use. Better Breathing Sport helps you build stronger breathing muscles over time, which makes it easier for you to breathe and consume more oxygen when doing out.

=> Visit “Better Breathing Sport” Official Website!

Why Would You Use A Respiratory Training Device?

Devices used for respiratory training resemble inhalers. They are made to make breathing more difficult in order to develop your lung muscles. You engage muscles like the diaphragm and the intercostals as you breathe in and out of the apparatus (located between the ribs).

RTDs are typically sold on the basis of the reasoning, "You train your legs and your arms—why don't you train your lungs?"

According to one research, in particular, there appears to be evidence that employing RTDs to enhance sports performance is supported by science.

A modest research was conducted to determine whether an increase in activity levels, rather than the respiratory trainer, was responsible for the improved performance gains reported in RTD trials. Researchers studied the cycling endurance of 37 inactive adults to determine this. Nine individuals engaged in aerobic endurance exercise (cycling or running), 13 subjects received respiratory training, and 15 controls did nothing.

How Does Better Breathing Sport Work?



For millions of individuals worldwide, Better Breathing Sport offers an all-natural way to improve breathing. Gentle pulses of positive pressure produce as you exhale via the Better Breathing Sport to assist in cleaning and improving oxygen delivery, which boosts your performance and stamina while keeping you in fantastic shape!

It's simple, secure, and organic, but most importantly, it works well!

An oscillation ball, a diffusion cap, a venturi cone, and a positive pressure mouthpiece make up the unique and highly regarded Better Breathing Sports product. Together, these components create positive pressure as you exhale through the device, pushing back against your breathing to provide the desired effects. 

Better Breathing Sport is portable because it is a compact device. Additionally, the gadget is composed of resilient, long-lasting, medical-grade polycarbonate and is built to last very long. Better Breathing Sport can be cleaned at high temperatures and is unaffected by harsh cleaning agents like alcohol and detergent.

Better Breathing Sport forces you to exhale more forcefully while making it more challenging to inhale. The mechanism is entirely mechanical; the diffusion cap, oscillation ball, and venturi cone use to produce this resistance. It would help if you resisted the force these three objects exert when you breathe during Better Breathing Sport to exhale and inhale correctly.

Features Of Better Breathing Sport

●    Easy & Fast

●    Boost Your Performance Every Day In Minutes

Better Breathing Sport is not only 100% natural and risk-free, but it's also simple to incorporate into your everyday routine!

Before your workout, inhale for 3 to 5 seconds through the device ten times. You'll see a significant change immediately, and it gets better the more you use it!

●    Beat The Improvement Of Competition At All Levels Reduces Workout & Training Times

Improve your oxygen delivery system and lessen the accumulation of lactic acid in your muscles.

●    HELPES WITH Shallow Breathing

Increase your lung capacity and develop your respiratory muscles to breathe more deeply.

●    Decreases Restoration Times

There is faster oxygen delivery to the muscles for quicker recovery and lactic acid removal.

●    Get Important Breaths Of Time

You will be able to breathe deeper or exert more effort thanks to improved oxygen levels in your body and muscles.

●    Benefits Sleep

Improve your breathing and sleeping habits.

●    Increase Levels Of Energy

Your muscles can produce more energy thanks to an increase in oxygen supply.

=> Order Your “Better Breathing Sport” From The Official Website!

How To Use Better Breathing Sport?

Better Breathing Sport creates positive pressure in your lungs and airways when you inhale and exhale, which helps eliminate mucus. It can enhance endurance and respiratory capacity, among other things.

Step 1: Place Better Breathing Sport up to your lips and blow into the gadget for three to five seconds.

Repeat step 2 5–10 times.

Step 3) Immediately notice improved breathing.

Step 4: Keep using Better Breathing Sport for 5 minutes twice daily for the first 2-3 weeks and 30 minutes before an exercise. 

Benefits Of Better Breathing Sport

●    Enhance Training & Workout Times

Better Breathing Sport improves training and workout times by improving oxygen supply and lactic acid buildup in the muscles. Usually, lactic acid buildup in your muscles causes your body to feel weary and signals you to quit exercising. 

●    Improve Shallow Breathing

Better Breathing Sport claims it may enhance shallow breathing by increasing lung capacity and strengthening your respiratory muscles. 

●    Gain Vital Breathing Seconds

Better Breathing Sport raises your body's oxygen levels, which in turn helps your muscles' oxygen levels. Gaining crucial seconds of breathing allows you to exert yourself more and breathe for more extended periods. Enhancing the worth of each breath you take is made possible by better breathing sports.

●    Improve Sleep

Low oxygen levels are a common cause of restless sleep for many people. Low oxygen levels when you sleep, for instance, can be caused by sleep apnea, snoring, and poor posture. By improving your oxygen intake and assisting you in more efficiently generating energy in your muscles, Better Breathing Sport claims to increase energy levels.

●    100% Safe & Natural 

You can enjoy 100% natural experiences rather than subjecting your body to dangerous side effects or procedures. Better Breathing Sport is available in a single size that suits people of all ages, from infants to the elderly. Better Breathing Sport is advantageous "for anyone of any age or athletic level," according to the official website.

●    Improve Performance in Minutes a Day

With just 3 to 5 minutes of therapy each day, Better Breathing Sport enables you to enhance performance. To increase endurance and performance, for instance, use Better Breathing Sport for a short period, 30 minutes before an exercise or physical activity.

●    clear mucus from the airways 

Better Breathing Sport can aid clear mucus from the airways, making it more straightforward for the most oxygen to enter your body and reach your muscles.

The Better Breathing Sport website claims that further advantages of the gadget include:

●    To create natural, focused benefits, exert positive pressure within your airways and lungs.

●    Boost the supply of oxygen

●    Performance is immediately improved, and it works quickly.

●    increases airway clearance and lung capacity

●    Small, portable, drug-free, and all-natural

What's Inside Better Breathing Sport?

The patented and award-winning product Better Breathing Sport has a distinctive design. A positive pressure mouthpiece, venturi cone, oscillation ball, and diffusion cap make up the Better Breathing Sport.

You can take the machine wherever and rely on it whenever you need to improve your breathing because it is incredibly durable and simple to maintain.

Devices for better breathing while exercising are created in Australia using the best plastic available. They are made of durable, medical-grade polycarbonate and are highly resistant to dropping and damage. They can also be cleaned at high temperatures and have a high tolerance for cleaning agents like detergent and alcohol.

=> Get the “Better Breathing Sport” From The Official Website!

How To Use Sports For Better Breathing

Holding the gadget to your mouth while inhaling and exhaling is all that is necessary to utilize Better Breathing Sport.

Better Breathing Sport creates positive pressure in your lungs and airways when you inhale and exhale, which helps eliminate mucus. This can enhance endurance and respiratory capacity, among other things.

This is how it goes:

Step 1: Place Better Breathing Sport up to your lips and blow for three to five seconds into the gadget.

Step 2: Repeat step one 5–10 times.

Step 3) Immediately notice improved breathing.

Step 4: Keep using Better Breathing Sport for 5 minutes twice daily for the first 2-3 weeks and 30 minutes prior to an exercise.

Use it twice a week and 30 minutes to get most out of your workouts.

Better Breathing Sport gently imitates the "cough" function by using vibrations and resistance, which helps to increase oxygen supply by removing mucus from the airways. You could experience enhanced performance, more energy, and increased stamina after taking Better Breathing Sport for a short while.

Where To Buy Better Breathing Sport?

Visit our official website to learn more about Better Breathing Sport and purchase the patented, award-winning product online. Good news: Better Breathing Sport has recently announced a significant increase in its worldwide shipping options. 

The cost of Better Breathing Sport is $64.99 per unit. However, you will receive a discount if you purchase several at once.

When buying Better Breathing Sport online right now, prices look like this:

●    Better Breathing Sport, 1 unit, $64.99. Plus shipping

●    $129.98 for 3 × Better Breathing Sports plus free US shipping

●    $194.97 for 5 × Better Breathing Sports with free US shipping

=> Click Here To Buy Your “Better Breathing Sport” From The Official Website - Backed By Five-Star Reviews!

The Better Breathing Sport comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. If users believe their overall performance has not improved over the first 30 days of using this gadget, they can contact customer service to ask for a full refund of their purchase price. It only applies to extra, unused items that are brand-new and still in their original packaging.

Conclusion On Better Breathing Sport Reviews

Better Breathing Sport is a breath training program for athletes of all skill levels. Spending a few minutes inhaling via Better Breathing Sport will help you clear mucus, expand your lungs, and improve your breathing in various ways. Some people use Better Breathing Sport daily to maintain overall health, while others use it 30 minutes before an exercise to increase endurance and performance.

Frequently Asked Questions

●    Is using the Better Breathing Sport safe?

People should see a healthcare professional before starting any new therapy for pre-existing conditions, just like with any device. However, it is said that utilizing the Better Breathing Sport is completely safe because no negative effects have been reported. Given that the gadget is based on mechanical breathing techniques, this shouldn't be a great surprise.

●    What is the Better Breathing Sport used for?

Users are encouraged to sit up straight, inhale deeply into the gadget, and hold their breath for three to five seconds while the vibration is sustained. One to two times each day, this technique must be performed at least ten times throughout each session.

●    When should the Better Breathing Sport be used?

Individuals are advised to use the Better Breathing Sport 30 minutes before each session to get the full benefits of it during activity.

●    How frequently should one practice the Better Breathing Sport?

It is advised to do this no more than twice daily for 5 to 10 minutes. It should be done for the first two to three weeks, ideally. It should only be used twice weekly beyond this point.

●    Is a return policy in place for the Better Breathing Sport?

Yes, the Better Breathing Sport comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. If users believe their overall performance has not improved over the first 30 days of using this gadget, they can contact customer service to ask for a full refund of their purchase price. This only applies to extra, unused items that are brand-new and still in their original packaging.

Consider contacting one of the following places to get more information about the return policy:

●    Better Breathing Sports Email:

●    Better breathing's mailing address is 3-17 Rivendell Drive, Tweed Heads South, NSW 2486, Australia.

=> Buy Your “Better Breathing Sport” Before Stock Runs Out!

Disclaimer: The above is a sponsored post, the views expressed are those of the sponsor/author and do not represent the stand and views of Outlook Editorial.


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The alarm goes off. You get dressed, grab your coffee, and head to work. But by lunchtime, you start to feel disorganized. You reread emails because you lack focus and mental clarity.

There's nothing worse than brain fog. In addition to stress and lack of sleep, it can be caused by the immune system creating an inflammatory response in the brain. This can lead to symptoms like poor concentration and memory, or difficulty making decisions.

As a neuroscientist, I study the causes of brain fog and forgetfulness. To avoid them, here are four things I never do:

1. I never let my body get tense for too long.

Even if you think you're relaxed, your body may be physically tense (e.g., stiff neck, back or shoulder pain). This can be a result of stress from things like unfinished tasks or looming deadlines.

So when I notice that my body is tense, I immediately do an exercise called "box breathing":

  1. Inhale through your nose as you slowly count to four seconds.
  2. Hold your breath for a count of four seconds.
  3. Exhale through your nose, releasing all the air from your lungs, as you slowly count to four seconds.
  4. Hold your breath for a count of four seconds.
  5. Repeat for at least four rounds.

Box breathing is a simple way to help calm your brain. Studies also show that it can reduce levels of cortisol, which is the chemical produced when the body is under stress.

2. I never use screens one hour before bedtime.

As tempting as it might be to scroll through Instagram or watch TV before bedtime, these activities can be too stimulating for the brain.

Instead, I try to read a book before turning out the lights. If that doesn't help me sleep, I do a "relaxation body scan," squeezing and releasing muscles — starting at my toes and all the way up to my head.

Ideally, we need about eight hours of sleep a night. More than that can lead to a depressed mood, and less than that doesn't give the brain enough time to rest and reset.

3. I never load up on glucose.

If your gut isn't healthy, your brainpower can falter, too. I strengthen my gut-brain axis by maintaining a diet rich in hydrating foods, healthy fats and digestible protein.

Most important of all, I try to avoid sugar. Your brain uses glucose (sugar) as fuel, but refined carbohydrates like high fructose corn syrup found in sodas are not good sources of fuel. Your brain gets a burst of too much glucose, then too little.

This can lead to irritability, tiredness, mental confusion, and impaired judgment.

I also eat foods rich in magnesium — whole grains, leafy greens, dried beans and legumes — to help regulate my mood and sleep cycle. And I make sure to have my last caffeinated drink of the day before 10:00 a.m.

4. I never go a day without meditating.

Harvard nutritionist: This is the No. 1 vitamin to keep your brain sharp

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Breathing exercises have been proven to reduce stress and anxiety, improve sleep, and increase mindfulness and concentration. There are many apps available to help guide you through various breathing techniques, making it easier to incorporate into your daily routine. In this blog post, we will introduce five of the top breathing apps to help you achieve better physical and mental wellness. Any of these could help you learn about breathwork training, improve your skills, and even guide you to help others with this knowledge in the future should you wish to.

The Best Apps to Help with Breathwork Training

Insight Timer

Insight Timer is a free meditation and breathing app that offers a wide variety of guided meditations and breathing exercises. One of the standout features of Insight Timer is the large community of users, which provides support and accountability. You can join challenges, join a group, or connect with friends to track your progress.

Insight Timer also offers a range of free and paid courses that teach specific breathing techniques, including pranayama and mindfulness. You can choose from a variety of lengths and styles, so you can find a breathing exercise that works best for you.

Breathing Zone

Breathing Zone is an app that focuses on breathing exercises to help manage stress, anxiety, and sleep issues. It uses biofeedback technology to guide you through the breathing exercises, monitoring your breathing patterns and providing real-time feedback on your progress.

Breathing Zone also offers a range of exercises that cater to different needs, such as reducing stress and anxiety, improving sleep, or increasing energy. You can choose from a variety of lengths and styles, so you can find a breathing exercise that works best for you.

The Best Apps to Help with Breathwork Training


Pranayama is a yoga-based breathing app that offers a range of breathing exercises to help you manage stress, anxiety, and sleep issues. It provides clear instructions and visual aids, so you can easily follow along with each exercise.

Pranayama also offers a range of free and paid courses that teach specific breathing techniques, such as alternate nostril breathing, breathing exercises for anxiety, and more. You can choose from a variety of lengths and styles, so you can find a breathing exercise that works best for you.


Breathe2Relax is a free app designed by the U.S. Department of Defence to help military personnel manage stress. It offers a range of breathing exercises, including diaphragmatic breathing, square breathing, and more. The app provides clear instructions and visual aids, so you can easily follow along with each exercise.

Breathe2Relax also includes a “Stress Tracker” feature, which allows you to track your stress levels before and after each breathing exercise. This helps you see the impact of the breathing exercises on your stress levels and adjust accordingly.

Stop, Breathe & Think

The Best Apps to Help with Breathwork Training

Stop, Breathe & Think is a mindfulness and meditation app that offers a range of breathing exercises and guided meditations. It uses an emotion tracking feature, which allows you to check in with your emotions before each session. The app then recommends a specific breathing exercise or meditation based on your emotions.

Stop, Breathe & Think also offers a range of free and paid courses that teach specific breathing techniques, such as mindful breathing, breathing for sleep, and more. You can choose from a variety of lengths and styles, so you can find a breathing exercise that works best for you.


Breathing exercises are a simple and effective way to improve your physical and mental wellness. These five apps make it easy to incorporate breathing exercises into your daily routine, no matter your experience level or schedule. Whether you’re looking to reduce stress and anxiety, improve sleep, or increase mindfulness and concentration, these apps have you covered. Give one or all of them a try and see for yourself the benefits of incorporating breathing exercises into your daily routine.

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Is sweating good for you? Sweat is often seen as a negative bodily function, causing discomfort and embarrassment in many people. However, sweat is actually good for you in many ways and has several surprising benefits that you may not have known about. In this article, we will explore the different benefits of sweat and why it is essential for our overall health and well-being.

Is Sweating Good For You? Benefits Of Sweating You Didn't Know About

1) Regulates body temperature

First, sweat is great for you and an excellent way to regulate body temperature. When we exercise, our body temperature rises, and sweating helps to cool us down. This process allows our body to maintain a consistent internal temperature, which is crucial for many of our physiological processes to function correctly. For example, if our body temperature becomes too high, it can affect our heart rate, breathing, and muscle function, which can lead to serious health problems. By sweating, we are able to prevent these issues and keep our bodies functioning optimally.

Sweat is actually great for your body and helps regulate body temperature. (Image via pexels/Ketut Subiyanto)
Sweat is actually great for your body and helps regulate body temperature. (Image via pexels/Ketut Subiyanto)

2) Removes toxins

Another surprising benefit of sweat is that it helps to remove toxins from the body. Our sweat contains small amounts of waste products, such as urea, uric acid, and creatinine, which are eliminated from our bodies when we sweat. This is an essential process as these toxins can build up in our bodies over time and cause health problems. Sweat is a natural way to detoxify our bodies, helping to keep us healthy and functioning at our best.

3) Good for your skin

Sweat is also beneficial for our skin. When we sweat, our pores open up, allowing dirt, oil, and other impurities to be removed from our skin. This can help to prevent breakouts and promote a clearer complexion. Additionally, sweat contains antimicrobial peptides that can help to protect our skin from harmful bacteria, which is especially important for those with sensitive skin. Furthermore, sweat can help to increase blood flow to the skin, providing it with essential nutrients and oxygen to keep it healthy and glowing.

Sweating helps your skin look healthier and cleaner! (Image via pexels/Andres Ayrton)
Sweating helps your skin look healthier and cleaner! (Image via pexels/Andres Ayrton)

4) Boosts mood

Another benefit of sweat is that it can boost our mood and reduce stress. When we sweat, our body releases endorphins, which are natural mood-enhancing chemicals. These endorphins can help reduce feelings of stress, anxiety, and depression, leaving us feeling happier and more relaxed. Additionally, sweat also contains cortisol, a hormone that helps to regulate stress levels. By sweat, we are able to naturally regulate our stress levels and improve our overall mood and well-being.

5) Can help weight control

Sweat is also excellent when you exercise. While sweat isn't necessarily an indicator of weight loss or a good workout, if you do happen to be perspiring during your gym session, you're on the right track. Sweat can also help maintain a healthy weight. Additionally, sweat can also help to strengthen our immune system, as it contains cytokines, which are proteins that help to fight off infections and illnesses. Furthermore, sweating can also help to improve cardiovascular health by increasing blood flow and reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Trying sweat-inducing workouts is a great way to get started in the gym!

Sweating may help with weight loss, but not in the way you think. (Image via pexels/Andrea Piacquadio)
Sweating may help with weight loss, but not in the way you think. (Image via pexels/Andrea Piacquadio)

6) Helps your hydration levels

Finally, sweat is essential for our overall hydration levels. When we sweat, we lose water, which can dehydrate our bodies if we do not replace it. However, by drinking water, we are able to replace this lost fluid, keeping our bodies hydrated and functioning optimally. Additionally, hydration is crucial for many of our physiological processes, such as digestion, circulation, and temperature regulation, making it essential to maintain proper hydration levels through sweating and fluid intake.

In conclusion, perspiring is a natural and essential bodily function that provides many surprising benefits for our health and well-being. Whether it is regulating body temperature, removing toxins, improving skin health, boosting our mood, providing exercise, or maintaining hydration levels, sweating is an important process that should not be overlooked. So, next time you sweat, remember that it is good for you and embrace it as a vital part of your overall health and well-being.

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ECG, Echocardiogram and more: 5 heart-related tests to check its health

Representational Image. News18

Prevention is always better than cure or medical intervention, especially when it comes to the health of the heart. Stressful life along with the lifestyle factors surely takes a toll on the heart health. A number of factors like age, diabetes, cholesterol, high blood pressure, family history, etc., have a direct impact on our heart health and monitoring these parameters through regular testing helps us to know about the functioning of the heart.

The most common ones are ECG, MRI, CT scans, etc. There are a number of test names that you may hear when you visit the cardiologist, but what are all those tests and why do we require them? Let us know in detail:

Electrocardiogram (ECG): An ECG refers to a quick and painless test which records the electrical signals in your heart. It tells us if the heart is beating too fast or too slowly.

Echocardiogram: Echocardiogram uses ultrasound to examine the heart. It helps you to diagnose conditions like cardiomyopathy (thickness in the heart walls), congenital heart disease (birth defects affecting the usual heart function), issues with heart valves that impact your blood flow within the heart and so on.

Exercise cardiac stress test: Also referred to as exercise tolerance test (ETT), this test tells you if your heart’s blood supply is appropriate and if your heart rhythm is normal while you exercise on a treadmill or bicycle. The test monitors the level of tiredness, breathing, heart rate, blood pressure and heart activity while you exercise.

Lipid profile test: These tests help to measure the levels of an individual’s cholesterol and triglycerides, which when deposited in excess can block the supply of blood to the heart. This may cause high blood pressure, heart disorders or even heart attacks.

Tilt test: This test helps to find why you feel faint or lightheaded. During the test, you lie on a table, which is then slowly tilted upward. The test helps to measure how your blood pressure and heart rate react to the force of gravity. A nurse or technician keeps the record of your blood pressure and heart rate (pulse) to see if they fluctuate during the test.

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What is pulmonary rehabilitation?

Pulmonary rehabilitation is a medically-supervised exercise and education program designed to help with difficulty breathing or if you are increasingly limited in your everyday activities due to COPD, emphysema, chronic bronchitis and other lung diseases.

Pulmonary rehabilitation is offered at the following locations:

MercyOne Des Moines Medical Center

MercyOne Dubuque Medical Center

MercyOne Elkader Medical Center

MercyOne Waterloo Medical Center

MercyOne Oelwein Medical Center

MercyOne Siouxland Medical Center

Our pulmonary rehabilitation experts understand the life-changing difficulties breathing problems can cause for you. We will help you improve your quality of life through emotional support, exercise and education.

How does pulmonary rehabilitation work?

Pulmonary rehabilitation incorporates physical reconditioning, self-care education, breathing exercises and techniques to improve your ability to carry out your daily activities. The program will also help you reduce the risks and complications of lung irritation and/or infection and promote social interaction and emotional well-being.

By attending classes, you will learn many things about your lungs. The exercise classes will help you be more active with less shortness of breath. Usually, you will be exercising both your arms and legs. The exercise classes will help you feel better and become stronger by helping you get into better shape.

Pulmonary rehabilitation will help you:

  • Alleviate shortness of breath with activity
  • Cope with feelings of fear or apprehension
  • Improve your quality of life
  • Increase exercise tolerance and strengthen breathing muscles
  • Increase your ability to function independently
  • Learn more about your disease, treatment options, coping strategies and breathing techniques
  • Maintain health behaviors
  • Recognize, treat and resist respiratory infection and flare-ups
  • Reduce and control breathing difficulties
  • Reduce exacerbations and hospitalizations

Who could benefit from pulmonary rehabilitation?

You can benefit from pulmonary rehabilitation if you have had:

  • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
    • emphysema
    • chronic bronchitis
  • cystic fibrosis (CF)
  • interstitial lung disease
    • sarcoidosis
    • pulmonary fibrosis
  • lung surgery
  • muscular dystrophy
  • and other lung diseases

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Dear Dr. Wong: Our daughter is 15 months old. In the last few months, she has been sick a lot after she started going to daycare. Every time, she started with a cold, and this invariably progressed into a bad cough that lasted for weeks. She would finally get better, and then pick up another cold and get sick again. 

The last time she coughed so much that she vomited up mucus and became lethargic. I was thinking about taking her to emergency room. Fortunately, I was able to reach a nurse practitioner who suggested that she might be somewhat dehydrated from vomiting and advised me to nurse her for longer periods of time. After a few hours of nursing, she perked up and gradually recovered. 

I grew up with pretty severe asthma, and her cough reminded me of my cough when I was young. I am much better now, although I still have exercise-induced asthma, and I use an inhaler from time to time. How can I tell whether my daughter has asthma or not?

Answer: I am very glad that your daughter improved after she got more breastmilk from you. When she was sick and coughing, she was breathing faster, coughing and vomiting up mucus. All of these can contribute to dehydration that made her lethargic. You did get good suggestion from the nurse practitioner.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, many children stayed home and had few contacts with other children. Once the pandemic rules were relaxed, children started going to school and daycare. Respiratory viruses naturally circulate among children who have little exposure and immunity to common respiratory viruses, including rhinoviruses that cause common cold, influenza viruses and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), not to mention the COVID-19 virus and others.

When your daughter was exposed to any of these viruses, she would develop cold-like symptoms with stuffy and running nose, sore throat, fever and cough. Most children are sick for a few days with each cold, their cough is usually not too severe. Some may develop complications like ear infections, sinus infections or pneumonia.

It is not easy to tell if a young child has asthma. As you may already know, asthma is a genetic condition; usually one or both parents have a history of asthma. Adults can take a lung function test; those with asthma have narrowing of their bronchial tubes. These bronchial tubes can relax after taking a bronchodilator inhaler. However, it is very difficult to do this test in young children. A few centres can perform a modified lung function test in young children for research purposes only.

Some of the symptoms of asthma in young children include a prolonged and severe cough when they get colds. Very often, their cold symptoms can last for weeks, and they can cough and vomit up mucus. Sometimes parents can hear a wheezy noise when they breathe. If it is severe, these children can breathe very rapidly, and parents may see their chest sucking in between the ribs or under the ribcage. These are all signs of respiratory distress.

Not infrequently, doctors cannot tell whether a child has asthma or not when they are young. Listening to the chest with a stethoscope may not tell anything. Sometimes physicians have to rely on the patterns of cough when they are sick, as well as how frequent and how long each of these episodes lasted. They may prescribe a course of inhaled bronchodilator and steroid to see how the child responds.

Since you have a history of asthma, it is possible for your daughter to develop asthma. You may want to eliminate some common indoor triggers, like dust mites, moulds and certain household pets. You can also watch whether she starts to cough when she runs, even when healthy. Asthma symptoms are also more common in spring and fall.

In the meantime, if she has not received influenza or COVID-19 vaccines as yet, you should consider immunizing her against these viruses. Both of them can get her quite sick, whether she has asthma or not.

Dr. David Wong is a retired pediatrician in Summerside and recipient of 2012 Distinguished Community Paediatrician Award of Canadian Paediatric Society. His columns are in The Guardian on the last Tuesday of every month. You can see a collection of his previous columns at If you have a question for Dr. Wong, please mail it to Prince County Hospital, 65 Roy Boates Ave., Summerside, P.E.I., C1N 2A9.

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Surabaya Surabaya, Jan 31 (360info) To support competitive cyclists, technology helps not only lighten the bike weight but sport science determines the speed to be the champion.

When Bernard Benyamin Van Aert stood on the podium with his silver medal at the UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) Track Nations Cup in Cali, Colombia in July 2022, it marked another step in Indonesia's progress in cycling world competition.

Bernard was the only cyclist from Indonesia to qualify for the 2022 UCI Track World Championship in the Men's Elite Omnium. These results were obtained because athletes underwent a structured training programme, with cross training in other racing disciplines, as well as detailed training monitoring supervised by a sport science team for two years.

International sport is in the midst of a global arms race. Sports science and technological innovation can be the big difference between success and failure at the elite level. Many nations invest millions giving their elite athletes the best. In terms of sport science in cycling, the main part is the human element, then the bicycle element.

Science and technology has made significant improvements to riders' physical performance. Road cyclists are active for long periods so excellent aerobic capacity is needed. The VO2 (oxygen uptake) number for a rider is a crucial measurement, reaching 74 ml/Kg/Min. The average for sedentary is 27-40 ml/kg/Min. By understanding the heart's performance and how muscles grow, sports trainers now understand how to design an exercise programme that focuses on making the heart work more efficiently, accompanied by increasing muscle strength. Breathing patterns also scientifically influence the performance of cyclists, so there are specific patterns, such as six pedal rotations for inhaling and three pedal rotations for exhaling.

Sleeping is just as important as exertion when in the saddle. Sleep has been proven to be a significant factor in improving the performance of athletes, not just sleeping eight hours a night. Special strategies are needed for athletes such as napping for 30 minutes – 1 hour every afternoon. Sleep hygiene must be maintained by avoiding coffee or caffeine before going to sleep, not looking at phones or watching television and maintaining room temperature and staying hydrated.

High altitude training is another proven method to help athletes increase endurance. Physiological changes in the body at higher altitudes — an increase in haemoglobin in the blood caused by an increase in the hormone erythropoietin that increases oxygen in the blood — can enable an athlete's body to capture more oxygen and have much better endurance when competing at sea level. In short, cyclists do not fatigue as easily.

And then there is the bike. While the basic design has not changed in 200 years, what frames are made from has come a long way, from steel to lighter materials such as aluminium, titanium and carbon fibre, which, being extremely light (the average Tour de France bike weighs around 8kg) and strong, is the preferred material for professional riders.

Just as important as weight is aerodynamics. Engineers refine bike frames to have a specific shape and angle designed to reduce the drag or resistance, along with determining the position of the cyclist, so as to minimise air resistance and increase their speed. In 1989, Tour de France winner Greg LeMond was among the first to use aero bars, which revolutionised design for improving performance. Specialists are also needed to get the bike fit right. Adjusted to the length of the rider's legs, arms, and body size, which is specific to each individual. There are studies on the best saddle position depending on height and tilt. Helmet design is key in configuration and protecting against head injury for competitive cyclists.

Many other technologies are becoming more widely used such as GPS and sensors fitted to the bike and wearables on the athlete's body. Wireless technology helps transmit this data to coaches a considerable distance away. Power metres measure output while other devices check heart rate, the amount of sweat, blood sugar levels and body temperature. All this data, when combined with unique algorithms can help coaches and athletes predict when they will become champions, where they will become champions, and what conditions will cause them to become champions.

Within the Indonesian cycling federation, a high performance enhancement team has been formed consisting of researchers from universities, sport scientists and experts in the fields of biomechanics, sport medicine, performance analysis, sport therapy, sport nutrition and strength and conditioning. While these moves are not perfect, the results have improved. The Indonesian team won three gold, four silver and a bronze medal at the SEA Games 2022 in Hanoi. Government grants of around USD 700,000– 900,000 have helped improve sports performance but more is needed to achieve at international level cycling. Still, money is not everything. The biggest problem is the lack of qualified human resources in sports science. The solution is to start collaborating with universities and industry with the aim of hiring competent people to work with the Indonesia cycling federation. This will help Indonesian sports get the most out of technology and achieve peak performances from athletes. For Indonesian cycling, which has started little by little, it could mean more exciting times ahead. ( GRS

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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High blood pressure—hypertension—refers to blood pushing against the walls of the arteries with chronically elevated force. Blood pressure that rises above normal levels and remains high can lead to serious health problems including heart attack, heart failure, stroke, and kidney failure.

Blood pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg). The top number, known as the systolic pressure, represents the pressure within the arteries when the heart contracts while pumping blood. The bottom number, diastolic pressure, represents the pressure in the arteries when the heart relaxes between beats and fills with blood.

Normal blood pressure is defined as less than 120 over less than 80. A person whose blood pressure runs between 120–129 over less than 80 is said to have elevated blood pressure, a classification that is used to further encourage taking preventive diet and lifestyle measures. Stage 1 hypertension is diagnosed for those with systolic numbers between 130 and 139 OR diastolic numbers between 80 and 89. Systolic numbers that are 140 or over OR diastolic at 90 or over is considered Stage 2 hypertension, which is a serious risk factor for stroke and other cardiovascular events.

Blood pressure changes repeatedly throughout the day; it is lowest during sleep and increases upon waking. It also goes up when a person is excited, nervous, or physically active.

Hypertension is the most common risk factor for cardiovascular disease in the United States, affecting one in three adults, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI). Untreated hypertension can lead to arterial damage, which in turn can result in impaired blood flow to vital organs, potentially leading to heart attack, kidney failure, stroke, eye damage, or aneurysm. Fortunately, once identified, high blood pressure often can be controlled to some degree with changes in diet and lifestyle.

What Are the Symptoms of High Blood Pressure?

Hypertension is often called a “silent killer” because even when severe, it often has no obvious symptoms. Some patients report headaches, dizzy spells, or nosebleeds, but these symptoms usually don’t occur unless there has been a rapid, acute change in blood pressure, or until blood pressure has reached dangerous levels.

What Are the Causes of High Blood Pressure?

The risk of developing high blood pressure increases with age as arterial walls lose their elasticity. There can be many contributing factors, yet doctors often cannot identify an exact cause for high blood pressure, in which case the person is said to have “essential hypertension.” Potential contributing factors include but are not limited to:

  • By chronically activating the sympathetic nervous system, stress can cause the arteries to maintain a more rigid tone.
  • Excessive salt consumption: The sodium in salt can cause excess water retention, which expands blood volume and ultimately increases blood pressure.
  • A diet low in calcium, magnesium, and potassium. These micronutrients help regulate the muscular structures of arterial walls and imbalances can influence arterial tone.
  • Insulin resistance: This condition can increase blood pressure by various mechanisms including increased systemic inflammation and sodium retention as a result of kidney damage.
  • Excessive alcohol intake, defined as drinking in excess of two drinks daily for men under age 65, or in excess of one drink daily for women or men over age 65.
  • Being overweight. The heart has to work harder to maintain circulation through excess adipose tissue.
  • Some prescription drugs, including steroids, birth control pills, decongestants, NSAIDS, and diet pills can raise blood pressure. Some over-the-counter medicines, such as those containing licorice root, ephedra, guaraná, kola nut, yerba maté, ginseng, and yohimbe may also raise blood pressure.

Some health problems including chronic kidney disease, thyroid disease, and sleep apnea may also cause blood pressure to rise.

According to the NHLBI, high blood pressure is more common, occurs at an earlier age, and is likely to be more severe among African Americans than in Caucasians or Hispanic Americans. Even young children can develop high blood pressure, but these cases often go undiagnosed. A U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study estimates that one in 25 youths ages 12 to 19 has hypertension, and one in 10 has elevated blood pressure. The principal cause is the ongoing epidemic of childhood obesity. It’s estimated that up to 30 percent of overweight and obese children have high blood pressure and that the problem is likely to worsen as the epidemic continues.

In some cases, blood pressure temporarily increases when it’s taken in the doctor’s office. This is due to a patient’s anxiety and is probably a conditioned response to seeing a doctor (“white-coat hypertension”) and, perhaps, to what physicians have told patients about the dangers of hypertension during previous visits. The best way to determine whether the elevated readings obtained in the doctor’s office are solely the result of white-coat hypertension is to check your blood pressure at home with a well-calibrated blood pressure monitor (they are widely available). If you decide to do this, check your blood pressure at least twice a day, at random times, and keep a log of your results to share with your doctor.

How Is High Blood Pressure Diagnosed?

Most people are familiar with blood pressure testing, which is performed using an inflatable arm cuff and a pressure-measuring gauge. As mentioned earlier, if your blood pressure is in the range of 120–129 mg Hg over less than 80 mmHg, a diagnosis of “elevated blood pressure” is considered. Blood pressure readings that range from 130–139 mmHg systolic OR 80–89 mmHg diastolic signal stage 1 hypertension. More severe hypertension—stage 2—is defined as a reading of 140 mmHg or higher or a diastolic reading of 90 mmHg or higher. Unless your blood pressure is extremely high, or you are having symptoms related to high blood pressure, your physician will probably ask you to return in a few days or weeks for a repeated set of blood pressure measurements before instituting therapy. A diagnosis of high blood pressure should not be based on a single high reading.

Several medical organizations, including the American Heart Association, recommend that anyone who has high blood pressure invest in a home monitor to perform regular blood pressure checks on their own and monitor response to treatment. This was proposed because only one-third of the 72 million Americans who have high blood pressure have it under adequate control. Frequent monitoring at home also provides doctors with documentation of your blood pressure outside the office and the effectiveness of prescribed medication, as well as the impact of lifestyle measures such as weight loss, exercise, and limiting salt intake.

What Is the Conventional Treatment?

Conventional treatment usually begins with recommendations to lose weight, get regular exercise, and quit smoking. Even a 10 percent weight loss can sometimes bring high blood pressure under control. Limiting intake of caffeine (in coffee, tea, sodas, and energy drinks) and alcohol can also help.

Medication usually is prescribed if blood pressure readings consistently exceed 140/90 (or 130/80 for diabetics or those with kidney disease), despite lifestyle changes. But even when drugs are prescribed, physicians usually recommend adhering to a low-salt diet that includes lots of vegetables and fruit, exercise, and stress reduction techniques, all of which can help keep the required dosage of medication to a minimum.

There are several different types of drugs used to treat high blood pressure. Here’s a rundown and brief description of how each type works:

  • Diuretics: Help the kidneys to flush excess water and salt from the body.
  • Beta blockers: Help the heart beat more slowly and less forcefully, and also relax arterial walls, together resulting in less pressure within blood vessels.
  • ACE inhibitors: ACE stands for angiotensin-converting-enzyme. This class of drugs inhibits the production of the hormone angiotensin II, which normally causes blood vessels to narrow, thereby increasing the pressure inside.
  • Angiotensin II receptor blockers: Protect blood vessels from the hormone angiotensin II so that the blood vessels can relax and widen.
  • Calcium channel blockers: Prevent calcium from entering the muscle cells of the heart and blood vessels, allowing both to relax.
  • Alpha blockers: Reduce nerve impulses that tighten blood vessels allowing blood to flow more freely.
  • Alpha-beta blockers: Reduce nerve impulses and slow heartbeat.
  • Nervous system inhibitors: Increase nerve impulses from the brain to relax and widen blood vessels.
  • Vasodilators: Relax muscles in blood vessel walls.

Conventional physicians are also likely to recommend the DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension), developed at the NHLBI (pdf) based on a large-scale study that identified the foods that affect blood pressure. It emphasizes generous amounts of fruits and vegetables and low-fat or fat-free dairy products that provide adequate calcium. The diet is also relatively low in fat and sodium. DASH researchers have shown that diets rich in potassium, calcium, and magnesium, and low in sodium (2,400 mg or less), play an important role in blood pressure control.

In addition to checking your blood pressure, a physician may recommend a urinalysis, an electrocardiogram (ECG) to evaluate the electrical activity of your heart, and perhaps other tests for signs of heart disease.

What Therapies Does Dr. Weil Recommend for Those With High Blood Pressure?

To lower blood pressure naturally, Dr. Andrew Weil recommends the lifestyle measures and nutritional supplements described below. If those changes don’t help, he recommends you seek guidance from your physician about prescribing one or more of the conventional medications described above. Here are Dr. Weil’s tips on how to lower your blood pressure.

  • Limit caffeine intake.
  • Limit alcohol intake.
  • Avoid processed foods. These are the biggest sources of sodium in today’s diets.
  • Maintain optimal weight. Even losing a small amount of weight can lower blood pressure.
  • Meditation, yoga, breathing exercises, and biofeedback can help lower blood pressure. Practice the 4-7-8 breathing technique.
  • Don’t smoke.
  • As little as 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day, such as walking, can help lower blood pressure.
  • Check your medicines. Discuss your current medications and their risks of increasing blood pressure with your doctor.

Nutrition and Supplements for High Blood Pressure

Dr. Weil recommends the DASH diet and the nutritional measures listed below:

  • Eat eight to 10 servings of vegetables and fruit per day.
  • Limit animal protein to six ounces per day.
  • Limit salt intake. If you are salt sensitive or have a family history of hypertension, reducing salt to about 1 teaspoon a day may help control your blood pressure.
  • Use garlic. It has a modest effect on blood pressure, potentially helping to relax blood vessels.
  • Consume four to five servings of nuts, seeds, and dry beans per week. This is equivalent to 2 tablespoons of nuts or seeds, or 1/2 cup of cooked dried beans.
  • Eat plenty of fish. Include at least three servings of fish a week, emphasizing cold-water fish such as wild Alaskan salmon and sardines, which are rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Take fish oil supplements if you cannot get enough omega-3-rich foods.
  • Take calcium and magnesium. Inadequate intake of both of these minerals has been associated with high blood pressure. Women should get between 1,000 and 1,200 mg of calcium a day from all sources, while men need no more than 500–600 mg daily from all sources and probably do not need to supplement.
  • Take vitamin C. This antioxidant vitamin has been shown to lower blood pressure in people with mild to moderate hypertension.

Republished from


Epoch Health articles are for informational purposes and are not a substitute for individualized medical advice. Please consult a trusted professional for personal medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment. Have a question? Email us at [email protected]

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When it comes to doing Pilates during pregnancy, many people ask me if it’s safe. Yes, with your healthcare provider’s permission, it is safe to do Pilates while pregnant. Pilates can support every stage of pregnancy through birth and the postpartum period.3

Like prenatal yoga, prenatal Pilates can be safe and beneficial for many women because it is a low-impact, whole-body exercise that places an emphasis on breathing, strength, mobility, and flexibility. However, it’s essential to find an instructor specializing in prenatal and postnatal Pilates since no two pregnancies are the same, and everybody is different. Pilates commonly focuses on posture, joint movement and flexibility, stress relief, and improving balance and strength during the prenatal period.3,4

Strength Training for Flexibility and Balance

It is essential not to overstretch the body when pregnant. Pilates is a form of training that increases strength and improves flexibility and balance. In Mat Pilates, we use body weight and small props to create resistance. On the other Pilates apparatus (Reformer, Cadillac, and Chair), the main form of resistance is the springs, which train clients to stabilize and help them improve balance and control.

According to Joseph Pilates, “I invented all these machines . . . it resists your movements in just the right way, so those inner muscles really have to work against it. That way, you can concentrate on movement. You must always do it slowly and smoothly. Then your whole body is in it.”1

Many people say Pilates strengthens from the inside out. This is because we focus on those inner muscles, initiate every exercise with core engagement, and engage the deep abdominal muscles with each exhale. The idea behind this way of working out is that every movement comes from the core (or “the powerhouse”), which allows for more efficient movement patterns throughout the body.

Pilates During Pregnancy Helps Stabilize Your Body

Pilates also focuses on strengthening the muscles surrounding the joints and stabilizing one body part as another moves. The movements are less integrated than in yoga, but those integrated yoga flows will still be there after the baby is born. As with all physical activity during pregnancy, it is essential to listen to your body. Although Pilates is safe, the intensity must be lighter to avoid increasing the body temperature and heart rate when pregnant since pregnancy can naturally increase these already.4,5

Pilates can help manage or eliminate the typical aches and pains associated with pregnancy. It also helps improve posture, which is very important because as the baby grows, it can disrupt a woman’s normal posture, which can cause pain in the lower back, shoulders, and hips.2

In Pilates, we work to strengthen the middle back and all the muscles surrounding the shoulder blades. This focus—in conjunction with breathing, which engages the deep stabilizing muscles of the trunk—significantly improves posture.

Pilates Exercises to Do During Pregnancy

All Fours Hip Extension

1. Start on all fours, shoulders stacked over wrists, hips stacked over knees. Begin with one leg straight behind you, toes touching the mat.

2. Inhale: Prepare

3. Exhale: Lift the leg only as high as the back remains flat like a table (don’t allow the spine to arch)

4. Inhale: Lower the leg

5. Repeat 10x-20x on each side.

Note: You can perform this exercise with the knee bent if it is too intense with a straight leg. For more glute and hamstring work, add a band around the knees.

All Fours Triceps Kickback

1. Start on all fours, shoulders stacked over wrists, hips stacked over knees. Place a weight in one hand and start with that arm bent (elbow by your waist with the palm facing in or down).

2. Inhale: Prepare

3. Exhale: Extend the arm straight back toward the hip

4. Inhale: Return to the start position

5. Repeat 10-20x on each side. Take a Child’s Pose stretch in between sides.

Side Lying “Hydrants”

1. Lay on your side with shoulders and hips stacked, knees and hips bent at a 90-degree angle. For an added challenge, place a band around your knees.

2. Inhale: Prepare

3. Exhale: Lift the top leg as high as possible with hips remaining stacked and the pelvis stable.

4. Inhale: Lower to start position

5. Do 20 reps, then perform 10 leg circles in each direction.

Side Bend with Side Leg Lift

1. Start by lying on one side, your head propped on your bottom elbow, and your top hand in front of the torso for balance. Legs straight and together with body in one long line. To increase the challenge, add a ball between the ankles.

2. Inhale: Prepare

3. Exhale: Squeeze the inner thighs, and lift both legs off the mat

4. Inhale: Maintain legs together and resist the legs back down to the floor

5. Repeat 10-20x on each side.

Squats & Sumo Squats

1. Start by standing with legs about hip distance apart and parallel (or shoulder distance apart with legs externally rotated).

2. Inhale: Prepare

3. Exhale: Squat, hinging at the hips to send your weight back toward your heels and keeping your spine straight

4. Repeat 10-20 reps of each type. For more of a challenge, add a band around the knees or incorporate arm work by adding free weights.

Things to Remember When Doing Pilates During Pregnancy

  • Avoid exercises that create compression or stress in the abdominal area, like crunches or twisting. Although flexion and rotation are contraindicated, side bending is excellent for gently strengthening and stretching the obliques.3
  • Avoid bridging, as it can put too much pressure on the vena cava vein.3
  • Lie on your back for no longer than 10 minutes at a time, and change body positions frequently if discomfort occurs.6

In all Pilates classes, but specifically for our prenatal clients, we focus on strengthening the extremities. Strong legs and glutes help during delivery, and strong shoulders and arms help after the baby is born. The mental component of Pilates is also a considerable benefit for pregnant women. The mind-body connection fostered by Pilates has many benefits, including stress relief, enhanced concentration, boosting immunity, and generally promoting well-being.7 The moms-to-be in our studio love the mental aspect and breath work in Pilates, especially if they have a toddler at home!


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