PILATES ABC Henley are continuing to run socially distanced hall sessions during the day and evening and use balanced workouts which comprise small subtle movements. These, combined with breathwork. will enable you to hone and tone your body.

The exercises will further encourage you to relax and release, improve your flexibility and joint movement for use in daily life or in your favourite sport. Pilates encourages activation of our deep trunk stabilisers and further helps develop the bond between mind and muscle leading to better all-round movement and body understanding.

The exercises are adapted to suit the individual and their specific needs. Classes include exercises for a wide range of clients including Pilates for golfers, balance, diastasis recti (separated tummy muscles), arthritis, breathing, long covid, ante and post-natal, dyspraxia, falls prevention, hip and knee replacements, osteoporosis, Parkinson’s and scoliosis.

Hall sessions take place on Tuesdays at Shiplake at 10am and 11.15am and at Crazies Hill at 8pm and on Wednesdays at Sonning Common from 8.50am and 9.55am and at Shiplake from 6.30pm and 7.45 pm. Beginners are welcome.

Spaces are limited. For further details or to book a session, call Alyth Black on 07521699265 or email [email protected]. Alternatively, visit www.pilatesabc.co.uk



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This article discusses the importance of self-care for nurses and is the third in a series on professionalism in nursing

Abstract

Nursing is a rewarding career but it is also demanding physically, emotionally and psychologically. This article is the third in a series on professionalism, and discusses the need for undergraduate nurses to look after their own wellbeing by adopting and embedding self-care practices. It is important that nursing students can recognise the signs of stress, both in themselves and their colleagues. Breathwork, meditation, movement, sleep hygiene and nutrition are some of the self-care strategies that can be explored.

Citation: Smart A, Creighton L (2022) Professionalism in nursing 3: the value of self-care for students. Nursing Times [online]; 118: 6

Authors: Alison Smart and Laura Creighton are lecturers in education, Queen’s University Belfast.

Introduction

A popular saying among those who promote self-care is: “You can’t pour from an empty cup”. The proverb – which means you must take care of yourself before you can take care of others – is important for nurses to remember as their professional and personal lives become increasingly busy.

Nurses must strive for positive wellbeing so they can meet the standards of patient care and work as set out in the code of conduct published by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) in 2018. Nursing can come at a significant cost to mental, emotional and physical wellbeing and, in addition to their professional workload, nurses are often also supporting family and friends; over time, this can take a toll on both mental and physical wellbeing.

It is important to develop and embed coping strategies as a student nurse to ensure you recognise when you are feeling stressed and understand how to deal with negative stress. Self-care is mandated by the NMC’s (2018) Code and, each year, student nurses are asked to complete a declaration of good character and health before they continue with the next stage of their course.

What is self-care?

Self-care is self-initiated behaviour that people incorporate to be proactive in promoting good health and general wellbeing (Sherman, 2004). It relates to activities that are done with the aim of:

  • Enhancing energy;
  • Restoring health;
  • Reducing stress.

This can help people gain a greater capacity to manage stress, increase resilience and reduce symptoms of mental health problems (Jiang et al, 2021). It is important that student nurses take the time to identify self-care practices that enhance their wellbeing.

Student nurses and stress

High stress and anxiety in nursing students affects learning and raises attrition levels (Turner and McCarthy, 2017), and student nurses have been shown to have higher stress and anxiety compared with those on other professional undergraduate courses (Crary, 2013). Many factors can contribute to this, not least the fact that they are required to complete 2,300 hours of clinical placement to be eligible to join the NMC register. This means working shift patterns that can result in a lack of routine and structure.

Other common triggers of stress are around:

  • A fear of the unknown;
  • Working with unfamiliar equipment or practices at different trusts;
  • Worries about a gap between theory and practice and the possibility of making a mistake;
  • Issues around communication with staff, students and peers (Nelwati et al, 2013; Pulido-Martos et al, 2012).

Stress can lead to disease, deterioration in health, poor academic performance and, in some cases, students withdrawing from their course. Many sources of stress are unavoidable and need to be proactively managed. However, if nurses take care of themselves, they will be more effective in their capacity to care for others (Royal College of Nursing (RCN), 2015).

Recognise the signs of stress

It is important to be self-aware and recognise signs of stress. The body has a physiological response to acute stress, triggered by the ‘fight-or-flight’ response of the sympathetic nervous system, which is often experienced by health professionals on a daily basis. Prolonged or chronic stress can be harmful to health and wellbeing and left unmanaged, can impact a person’s capacity to care as a professional nurse.

Chronic stress can present itself in many ways, including physical manifestations as well as thoughts, behaviours and feelings (RCN, 2015). Each person will react differently to stress but symptoms may include:

  • Pounding heart;
  • Sweaty palms;
  • Headache;
  • Nausea;
  • Trembling;
  • The mind racing or going blank;
  • Plummeting self-esteem and confidence (RCN, 2015).

An activity that can be done to help a person recognise how stress manifests in themselves is outlined in Box 1.

Box 1. Stress recognition activity

  • Draw a person on a page
  • Think of a time when you felt stressed, perhaps at university or on clinical placement
  • Look at the body image on the page and identify the different ways in which your body responded to stress

Self-care strategies

Student nurses should take responsibility for their own wellbeing to ensure continued safe practice. Practising self-care is a great first step. Nurses must give themselves permission to care for themselves as well as others, and to create time for that (Andrews et al, 2020).

Mindfulness

Mindfulness is the art of letting your mind be still in the present moment; Box 2 details an exercise aimed at helping you to be in the present.

Box 2. Mindfulness activity

Close your eyes, breath in deeply for a count of five and breathe out for five. Repeat three times. Open your eyes and identify the following:

  • Five things you can see
  • Four things you can reach out to and touch
  • Three sounds you can hear
  • Two things you can smell
  • One thing you can taste

Van der Reit et al (2018) found that mindfulness meditation can improve nurses’ and student nurses’ wellbeing. Positive effects include a restructuring of the brain; Hölzel et al (2011) found that mindfulness is associated with changes in grey matter concentration in brain regions involving “learning and memory processes, emotion, regulation, self-referential processing and perspective taking”. In addition, Chiesa et al (2011) demonstrated that the constant practice of meditation demonstrates neuroplasticity and improves cognitive functions. Further positive effects include helping the processing of emotions and decreasing blood-pressure and stress hormones, such as cortisol (Green and Kinchen, 2021).

Certain apps, for example Headspace and Calm, can help with a daily meditation practice. The RCN’s website also includes details of mindfulness activities.

Breathwork

Intentional, or diaphragmatic, breathing is an efficient tool for body/mind training. Xiao et al (2017) described diaphragmatic breathing as involving the:

  • Contraction of the diaphragm;
  • Expansion of the belly;
  • A deep inhale and exhale.

Compared with the normal breathing processes, this technique can have a noticeable impact on calming the autonomic nervous system (Zaccaro et al, 2018). By taking time to focus on breathing, it is possible to reset the fight-or-flight response when experiencing stress.

The US Navy’s Sea, Air and Land teams – commonly known as Navy SEALs – implement intentional breathwork as a tool to help with stressful situations (Nazish, 2019). This takes the form of ‘box breathing’, a multistaged breathing exercise in which a person visualises travelling around the sides of a box (Box 3). This exercise can be done anywhere at any time; it is taught to student nurses at Queen’s University Belfast and informal feedback from those who have used the technique during their placement suggests that they find it helpful in dealing with stressful situations during a shift.

Box 3. Box-breathing exercise

The idea of this multistage breathing exercise is to imagine breathing while travelling around the sides of a box:

  • Close your eyes and visualise one surface of a square box, then:
    • Inhale slowly to a count of four as you visualise travelling up one side of the box
    • When you reach the top, hold your breath to a count of four as you imagine traveling across the top of the box
    • Exhale slowly to a count of four as you visualise moving down the other side of the box
    • Hold your breath for a count of four as you imagine travelling along the bottom of the box.

Physical activity

The World Health Organization (WHO) (2020) defines physical activity as any bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that requires energy expenditure. Most of us are aware that physical activity is good for us and improves physical and mental health; obvious examples of such activities are walking, running, cycling, yoga and Pilates, team sports and other exercise regimes of varying intensity. In a study of student nurses, Hawker (2012) found a correlation with physical activity and mental wellbeing through improved mood, reduced anxiety and depression, and increased self-esteem and life satisfaction.

For those who find it hard to stay active, big changes start with small steps; something as simple as a walking challenge – perhaps done with family, friends or colleagues – can be a good place to start (Smart and O’Neill, 2021).

Sleep hygiene

Sleep problems are common among health professionals because of shift patterns; Stimpfel et al (2020) found that nurses’ short sleep duration was associated with poorer quality of care and reduced patient safety. Those who want to improve their sleep can do a sleep assessment to help identify what strategies may be effective; a sleep assessment tool is available on the NHS website.

Walker (2018) offered these tips to help improve sleep quality:

  • Find a bedtime routine: as an example, drinking a cup of herbal tea, reading a book, taking a warm bath (the dip in your core body temperature afterwards signals to your body that it is time to sleep) will help to programme your body to understand that it is bedtime;
  • Avoid screen time an hour before bed: the blue light emitted from the screens of digital devices such as computers and smartphones reduces sleep time, quality and depth by fooling your brain into thinking it is still daytime;
  • Ensure your bedroom is cool (around 18°C), so your body experiences the drop in core temperature to initiate sleep;
  • Restrict caffeine and nicotine: avoid both in the four to five hours before bed.

Hydration and nutrition

Dehydration in nurses is common and is not helped by a culture of it being hard to take drinks breaks; a report on safe and effective staffing found that 59% of nurses had not managed to take enough breaks during their previous shift (RCN, 2017). Dehydration alone can reduce concentration and cognitive function, and lead to fatigue (RCN, 2018). Nurses should always:

  • Hydrate before starting a shift;
  • Keep a water bottle with them and make sure to top it up when on a break;
  • Look out for signs of dehydration, such as a sore head, feeling tired/lethargic and having difficulty concentrating.

Good nutrition is vital, but long shifts, working nights and starting early mean this can get lost. Emotional eating as a form of comfort is not sustainable, and leads to overeating and unhealthy food choices, which can store up future health problems (Liu et al, 2017).
Tips to maintain good hydration and nutrition are outlined in Box 4.

Box 4. Tips for good hydration and nutrition

  • Be equipped for a shift with water and nutritious snacks; try not to rely on vending and coffee machines
  • Opt for high-protein meals and snacks
  • Try not to give in to cravings for sugary snacks while at work
  • Prepare nutritious meals in batches at home if doing a few shifts in a row

Find what works

Student nurses can adopt various other activities that can help with self-care. Examples include:

  • Connecting with others;
  • Journaling;
  • Gratitude (Sansone and Sansone, 2010).

For the more adventurous, evidence suggests that open-water swimming or cold-water therapy has mental and physical health benefits by stimulating endorphins to improve mood (Oliver, 2021). It is important to find what works for you and make it part of your life.

Conclusion

Student nurses can experience high levels of stress; this can lead to increased levels of anxiety and depression, reduce the quality of patient care they can provide, and compromise patient safety. Stress can present itself in physical, psychological and emotional ways. Student nurses should embed self-care into daily routines and recognise stress in themselves and in others. Various effective strategies – including movement, meditation, breathwork, positive sleep hygiene, and ensuring optimum nutrition and hydration – can be used to boost mental and physical wellbeing.

Those working in nursing education should direct students to wellbeing activities when discussing professionalism and the NMC Code. It is important to embed, early in a nurse’s career, an awareness of wellbeing and supportive strategies that can be adopted.

Key points

  • The Nursing and Midwifery Council’s code of conduct places an emphasis on nurses prioritising their own wellbeing
  • People who work in positions of care tend to provide care for everyone but themselves
  • Student nurses experience high levels of stress because of the nature of their course
  • Proactive approaches to self-care should be adopted early on in a nursing career
  • It is important to find the strategies that work for individual people
References

Andrews H et al (2020) Needing permission: the experience of self-care and self-compassion in nursing – a constructivist grounded theory study. International Journal of Nursing Studies; 101: 103436.

Crary P (2013) Beliefs, behaviors, and health of undergraduate nursing students. Holistic Nursing Practice; 27: 2, 74-88.

Green AA, Kinchen EV (2021) The effects of mindfulness meditation on stress and burnout in nurses. Journal of Holistic Nursing; 39: 4, 356-368.

Hawker CL (2012) Physical activity and mental well-being in student nurses. Nurse Education Today; 32: 3, 325-331.

Hölzel BK et al (2011) Mindfulness practice leads to increases in regional brain gray matter density. Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging; 191: 1, 36-43.

Jiang X et al (2021) A systematic review of self-care measures for professionals and trainees. Training and Education in Professional Psychology; 15: 2, 126-139.

Liu Y et al (2017) Eating your feelings? Testing a model of employees’ work-related stressors, sleep quality, and unhealthy eating. Journal of Applied Psychology; 102: 8, 1237-1258.

Nazish N (2019) How to de-stress in 5 minutes or less, according to a navy SEAL. forbes.com, 30 May.

Nelwati et al (2013) Indonesian student nurses’ perceptions of stress in clinical learning: a phenomenological study. Journal of Nursing Education and Practice; 3: 5, 56-65.

Nursing and Midwifery Council (2018) The Code: Professional Standards of Practice and Behaviour for Nurses, Midwives and Nursing Associates. NMC.

Oliver B (2021) Cold water swimming for well-being. Journal of Public Mental Health; 20: 2 105-110.

Pulido-Martos M et al (2012) Sources of stress in nursing students: a systematic review of quantitative studies. International Nursing Review; 59: 1, 15-25.

Royal College of Nursing (2018) Rest, Rehydrate, Refuel: A Resource to Improve the Working Environments for Nursing Staff. RCN.

Royal College of Nursing (2017) Safe and Effective Staffing: Nursing Against the Odds. RCN.

Royal College of Nursing (2015) Stress and You: A Guide for Nursing Staff. RCN.

Sansone RA, Sansone LA (2010) Gratitude and well being: the benefits of appreciation. Psychiatry; 7: 11, 18-22.

Sherman DW (2004) Nurses’ stress & burnout: how to care for yourself when caring for patients and their families experiencing life-threatening illness. American Journal of Nursing; 104: 5, 48-56.

Smart A, O’Neill D (2021) Steps in the right direction. blogs.qub.ac.uk, 26 February (accessed 19 April 2022).

Stimpfel AW et al (2020) Nurses’ sleep, work hours and patient care quality, and safety. Sleep Health; 6: 3, 314-320.

Turner K, McCarthy VL (2017) Stress and anxiety among nursing students: a review of intervention strategies in literature between 2009 and 2015. Nurse Education in Practice; 22: 21-29.

Van der Riet P et al (2018) The effectiveness of mindful meditation for nurses and nursing students: an integrated literature review. Nurse Education Today; 65: 201-211.

Walker M (2018) Why We Sleep: The New Science of Sleep and Dreams. Penguin.

World Health Organization (2020) Physical activity. who.int, 26 November (accessed 29 March 2022).

Xiao M et al (2017) The effect of diaphragmatic breathing on attention, negative effect and stress in healthy adults. Frontiers in Psychology; 8: 874.

Zaccaro A et al (2018) How breath-control can change your life: a systematic review on psycho-physiological correlates of slow breathing. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience; 12, 353.

 

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Tommy Armitage had to undergo open-heart surgery when he was born so that a stent could be fitted to help mitigate the impacts of Tetralogy of Fallot, which affects the blood flow through the heart

Tommy Armitage in Alder Hey with his dad Anthony
Tommy Armitage in Alder Hey with his dad Anthony

A baby boy is so fragile that a common cold landed him in hospital for two weeks.

Soon after Tommy Armitage was born in December 2019 at Oldham Hospital, he had to undergo open-heart surgery to insert a stent.

The tiny mental mesh works to keep an artery from closing or narrowing in the baby's heart, Liverpool Echo reported.

Just two months later, Tommy had to go back under the knife for a more extensive surgery where they discovered that part of his heart was "knackered".

Tommy's mum, Beckie, has opened up about what it was like looking after the newborn, who has a congenital defect called Tetralogy of Fallot which affects the blood flow through the heart.







Tommy's first few months were much more complicated than anticipated
(

Image:

Beckie Armitage)

The student nurse had been told when she was 18 weeks pregnant that Tommy would need an operation in his first year which would resolve the problem for good.

"When he was born it was a lot more complicated," she said.

"They didn't know how bad it was until he was born. He was born in Oldham, then taken to St Marys in Manchester but the consultant then spoke to Alder Hey because they won't do the surgery anywhere else.

"We then went to Alder Hey to have his first surgery.

"He had his stent in January. At the time we thought it might buy him some time and he might not even need his other surgery until he's 12 months but it didn't work.

"He was kept in hospital until March when he had another surgery.

"There are four major things that are wrong with the heart and when they opened him up they found that his coronary arteries were wrong, and his pulmonary artery was knackered.

"He had to have like a pipe to replace his pulmonary artery which will now need changing every few years as he gets older.

"He'll be going back to Alder Hey each time for three or four weeks at a time for open-heart surgery."

Going forward Tommy, now two-years-old, is constantly being observed.

Even a common cold is enough to land him in hospital, as he found out in November 2021.

The 28-year-old mum-of-three said: "He picked up a cold in a waiting room when we were sat next to a child who was full of cold and a couple of days later Tommy was really ill.

"We went to the hospital because he was struggling with breathing, his heart rate was through the roof, and his oxygen saturation was really low all because there was so much pressure on his heart.

"He was admitted and monitored and they said it was because of a common cold and he just took it so badly."

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Beckie's best friend Maria Cameron, who she has known since they were both 11-years-old, is now raising money for Ronald McDonald House Charity due to their support during the long stints Tommy had in hospital at Alder Hey.

Maria is taking part in a White Collar boxing match on May 29 with all the money raised through her GoFundMe going to charity.

The 29-year-old said: "It's not nice seeing your friend going through something that you're helpless with.

"You can't do anything to help the situation, all you can do is try and be positive.

"We try and do fun things and have days out with the girls to take her mind off things.

"She's helpless as well and it's her child. It's not nice but you have to support them as much as you can."

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Former Australian cricketer Andrew Symonds died in a road accident. Statement issued by the police suggests his car, which was being driven on Hervey Range Road, left the roadway shortly after 11 pm and rolled. Emergency services tried to rescue the 46-year-old driver, however he died of his injuries.

Post his retirement from cricket in February of 2012, the all-rounder cricketer got into sports commentary and broadcasting. He was a renowned face on Fox Sports.

The deadly truth about road accidents


Approximately 1.3 million people die each year as a result of road traffic crashes.

As per data, a total of 4,37,396 road accident cases were reported during 2019 in India alone. The cases have decreased from 4,45,514 in 2018 to 4,37,396 in 2019. However, the fatalities in such accidents have increased by 1.3% (from 1,52,780 in 2018 to 1,54,732 in 2019).

The World Report on Road Traffic Injury Prevention, indicates that road traffic accidents are a major killer accounting for half a million deaths and 15 million disability adjusted life years lost. It has been seen that victims of major road accidents in India have a much higher risk of death as compared to developed nations.

Australia-Symonds Cricket

The golden hour


Dr Kaushal Malhan, Director-Orthopedics and Joint Replacement, Fortis Hospital, Mulund stresses on the significance of the golden hour. “Accident victims deteriorate quickly after injury, delay in treatment has shown to significantly increase mortality. The first 60 minutes, also called the ‘Golden Hour’ is crucial and affects chances of survival for trauma victims. The golden hour rule can be summarized by the ‘3R rule of getting the right patient to the right place at the right time’. The role of good and swift emergency medical transport with trained paramedics or medics cannot be over emphasized. This is because appropriate trauma-centers may not always be nearby and the medical team can provide trauma care at the scene and on-route to hospital.”

How can you help?


Emergency medical transport may not always be available on time and therefore the community at large along with Police, Fire Fighters etc., should be trained to provide on-site first aid. This is based on the principles of ATLS-Advanced Trauma Life Support. The primary role is to cause no harm and call for help. Emergency on-site care by lay public should follow the following protocol:

A-Airway maintenance with cervical spine protection - Check if there is any removable obstruction to breathing. Prevent aspiration by correct positioning. Avoid moving the neck and stabilize it in place using some supporting object on either side. Do not forcibly remove a helmet and cause unnecessary neck movement

B-Breathing and ventilation – Give oxygen if available and mouth to mouth resuscitation for victims who are not breathing in spite of a clear airway

C-Circulation with hemorrhage control - provide external cardiac massage in pulseless patients. Stop bleeding by applying direct pressure on bleeding area, apply splint to broken limbs

D-Disability - Gross assessment of state of consciousness, power and sensation in the limbs will be useful later to decide about progress and clinical worsening

E-Exposure - Cover the patient and protect them from cold and transfer safely without unnecessary movement

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A GP has shared some of the top triggers of asthma to keep an eye out for — and some tips and tricks to help manage day-to-day symptoms.

Dr. Ahmeda Ali, a GP with Webdoctor.ie, told Chic that while asthma is something that would typically show up during childhood, it can “absolutely” return at any stage.

She continued, “There’s some patients where it runs in their family so they’re well used to it, and there’s some patients where they don’t have any family history of it.

“You can grow out of it and it can return back at a later stage, say if you’re unwell with a cough or a cold. It’s really hard for us, as healthcare professionals, to predict who’s going to go down which route — sometimes it returns, sometimes you can completely grow out of it.

“For World Asthma Day, this year in particular, they’re trying to bust some myths around asthma. One particular one that they want to bust is that, do you know that some people think that asthma is infectious? But it’s actually not.

“Some people think that people with asthma shouldn’t exercise, but that’s not true either. Others think that everyone grows out of their childhood asthma, some people do but some people don’t. It’s all about tracking and monitoring your symptoms and seeing how things develop, really.”

The GP added that the “slightest trigger” could impact asthma — and it may not even be one that you suspect.

She recalled, “There was one person I came across, and they were using feather pillows. It turns out that that was actually what was triggering her asthma. When you’re with the GP, it’s nice to try and figure out what’s triggering it or what’s happening in your daily life to see, say, what can we remove? What can we reduce contact with, to try and find the triggers.

“In her case, it turned out she was allergic to the feathers in her pillows — something that we wouldn’t usually think of, but it can happen.”

Dr. Ali also told how one of “the biggest myths around asthma” is around exercise — and how one of the things she has come across in her practice is that people reckon when you have asthma, “you should stop exercising because it will make it worse”.

However, she said that it is, in fact, “absolutely OK to exercise with asthma” — and shared her advice on how to successfully navigate sports and exercise with asthma.



Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) makes breathing increasingly more difficult
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) makes breathing increasingly more difficult

She continued, “What we would suggest to patients is to make sure that you have a good warm up before you exercise — say, for example, about 15 minutes of a really good warm up before you start your sports or exercise. And then make sure you have a good cool-down period afterwards, as well.

“It’s also really good to make sure that you’ve got your reliever inhaler to hand when you’re exercising. Say, for example, if you know that ‘uh oh, my asthma’s going to be triggered by exercise’ then you can take two puffs of your inhaler about 15 minutes before warming up. There are ways around it.”

She also suggested that when going to exercise, to take part in sports or going to the gym, to let someone know where you’re going and when you’re expected to return — “just so you’re not alone in dealing with it or if things go down then there’s support around you”.

And with hay fever season in full swing, Dr. Ali shared how that can impact people with asthma — and what differentiates asthma from other conditions.

She said, “With asthma, patients usually have shortness of breath, a cough or a wheeze — and those symptoms can be quite similar to hay fever.

“With hay fever you’ve got other symptoms like your watery or itchy eyes. Sometimes, patients tell us that they’ve got a bit of an itchy nose, a scratchy throat or a stuffy nose.

“But with asthma, it’s more related to the shortness of breath, your wheeze and cough, or the tightness of the chest. That would be the major difference.

“And with asthma, you’ve got the mild, moderate or severe symptoms. As you go down the categories with asthma, you can have difficulty breathing, coughing or talking.

“Also, the thing is, hay fever does unfortunately make asthma worse. It’s one of those triggers — there’s loads of different ones for asthma.

“Others could be pollen, dust mites, mould, smoking fumes, paint solvent or pollution — all these things can trigger asthma, and hay fever is one of them unfortunately.”

There are a number of things that people do to help manage their asthma on a day-to-day basis.

Dr. Ali said, “On the medical side of things, I’d say to chat to your local GP and make sure that there’s an Asthma Action Plan in place. This is a little leaflet or card and basically, there’s three sections — green, orange and red. There’s advice on what to do when you’re in those particular situations.



“On the green section, it tells you what to do to manage every day asthma — and the red would tell you what to do if you’re having an asthma attack. And the great thing is, these cards are available online or with the local GP or practitioner.

“You can get those action plans, stick it on the fridge or put it somewhere where you and your family can see it — and you use it as a reminder on what to do.”

She also advised booking in a yearly review with your GP or nurse, so that you can have a chat “about what’s bothering you with your asthma or what’s working well” — and to double check if your technique with your inhaler is OK or not.

The GP continued, “The second I’d suggest is that there’s an asthma advice line on WhatsApp. It’s so good. You can take tips and advice from respiratory nurses or you can send them questions — and I think that it’s a good number to have in your phonebook, just to see how things are as you can have an informal chat.

“The other thing I’d suggest is trying to live a healthy lifestyle. Stay active and don’t be afraid to exercise with asthma.

“Another thing that you can do is take up journaling. It can be good to write down how you’re feeling or which days are good in terms of the asthma days — it’s good, sometimes, just to see what’s happening and what the pattern of your flares might be.”

For more information about WebDoctor and its services, visit webdoctor.ie, and for more information about the Asthma Society of Ireland’s advice line, visit asthma.ie.



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Pool swimming is an essential element of any triathlete’s training program, but as the race season approaches and with the majority of races taking place entirely outdoors it’s important you can adapt and replicate your technique in open water. We asked Kevin Henderson of Blackzone Coaching to give us his top tips on managing the transition to open water swimming and ensuring you make the most of your winter spent in the pool. 

Kevin says:

“It’s important to recognise that open water swimming and pool swimming are two different beasts. Even if you are a seasoned swimmer you should treat open water with respect and always put your safety first. Swimming at an open water venue is the safest option. They often run beginners sessions and have lifeguards on hand if you come into any trouble. If you’re not able to swim at a venue then try to always swim with a partner and use a tow float that is capable of acting as a flotation device. 

“Swimming in open water is significantly more tiring than in the pool. You won’t have walls to push off every 25 or 50 metres when it comes to the day of your event. So while you’re training in the pool over the winter try and build in some sessions where you simulate longer distance swims. Depending on the size of the pool you can do this by looping under the lane ropes or do a tumble turn before the end of the lane and start again without kicking off the wall.

“Another element to work on in the pool to help you prepare for the switch to open water is your breathing. From unexpected waves to being dunked by competitors at buoys there will often be situations outdoors that will disrupt your usual breathing pattern. The water and air temperature will also have a major impact. This can be intimidating if you’re not used to it but with a little training you can easily deal with it. Try building a training set where you intentionally disrupt your breathing. You can do this by occasionally missing a breath, practising breathing bilaterally or by building a more structured set where you take less breaths per length as the set progresses. Once you know you are able to swim safely throughout, any disruptions on the course will be much less intimidating.

“If you practise with friends or a part of a club you have access to even more training techniques you can utilise in the pool. Mass start events can be especially daunting if you’re new to the sport or are out of practice. A fun and easy drill to try is swimming three to a lane to simulate the crowding that occurs when you’re battling for position from the start of your event. You can also use your time in the pool to hone your drafting, just practise getting as close as you can to the person in front without touching them. 

“One of the most immediate differences people notice when transitioning away from the pool is that they struggle swimming in a straight line. It’s easy to stay on course in the pool when you can use the lane ropes and markings on the bottom of the pool to help you keep your line. When you’re in cloudier water outside and without these aids you will soon find your stroke isn’t keeping you as straight as you thought. The last thing you want to do when it comes to your event is wasting time and energy swimming more than you need to. This is where you’ll need to learn how to sight effectively.

“When practising in open water you will need to find a landmark on the horizon or when it comes to your event a marker on the course such as a buoy to aim towards. Start by swimming normally but each time you turn your head to the side to breathe, look forward to check you’re still on course. Once you’re comfortable with the action of sighting you can dial back how often you have to do it. Initially this may be every few breaths but depending on how well you can keep on course you will be able to increase this. Keep in mind that in your event as you approach the turn buoy you will want to increase the rate at which you sight to make sure you don’t make any mistakes at this crucial stage.

“How easy it is to sight will be impacted by the weather and water conditions. If it’s especially windy and choppy or you’re swimming in the sea you may have to contend with waves. This may disrupt your rhythm and mean you have to sight for longer. You can practice for this by swimming freestyle with your head out of the water (like a water polo player) or try and remain streamlined by keeping your eyes just out of the water (like an alligator!). 

“The water conditions can have a considerable effect on your swim performance so if possible you should try and get as much experience of different types as possible. At the very least you should ensure that you’ve spent some time sea swimming if your event is in the sea, likewise if it’s a lake or river swim. Some events even offer sessions in the run up to your race where you can familiarise yourself with the or even swim the same course you will be racing on.”
Whether you’re a seasoned open water swimmer or completely new to the discipline then a bespoke training plan from Blackzone Coaching will help you unlock your full potential. Visit their website and get in touch with Kevin and the team today to find out more.

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  Medically reviewed by Angela M. Bell, MD, FACP — Written by Beth Sissons

Exercise may help improve heart health and overall fitness in people with heart failure. However, these individuals should get the approval of a healthcare professional before starting an exercise regimen.

The American Heart Association (AHA) notes that heart failure, or congestive heart failure, means that the heart has become weakened and is unable to pump blood as efficiently as it would usually.

As a result, the body might not get as much oxygen as it needs, and everyday tasks may feel more difficult.

Exercise can help strengthen the heart and improve how oxygen circulates through the body. People with heart failure will need to discuss an exercise program with a healthcare professional.

This article looks at the possible benefits of exercise for people with heart failure. It also discusses the suitable types of exercise and provides tips for exercising safely.

Is exercise safe for people with heart failure?

According to a 2017 article, exercise may reduce the risk of fatal cardiac events in people with heart failure. The authors note that inactivity, such as not exercising or having long periods of sedentary time, seems to increase the mortality risk in people with heart failure.

The authors add that the Heart Failure Association Guidelines recommend moderate, regular exercise for people with heart failure. This may help by:

  • reducing symptoms
  • improving the functional capacity of the heart
  • reducing the risk of hospitalization

People will need to check with a healthcare professional before starting an exercise program. Some exercises may not be suitable for people with certain heart conditions, such as:

  • obstruction to left ventricular outflow
  • decompensated heart failure
  • unstable variable heart rate

Benefits of exercise for people who have had heart failure

According to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), the benefits of regular exercise for people with heart failure include:

  • increased function
  • reduced symptoms of heart failure
  • improved quality of life
  • increased ability to carry out everyday activities
  • retained independence
  • improved overall health and fitness

Other benefits of regular exercise may include:

  • increased energy levels
  • increased physical strength
  • increased endurance and ability to exercise
  • weight loss or maintenance
  • better management of any additional health conditions, such as high blood sugar, blood pressure, or cholesterol
  • stress management
  • improved sleep
  • improved mental health, such as reducing symptoms of depression or anxiety

Common symptoms with exercise

Healthcare professionals emphasize the importance of “listening to” the body.

It is normal to experience the following when exercising:

  • feeling comfortable and relaxed
  • being aware of the breath but not out of breath
  • feeling slightly tired
  • feeling slightly sweaty

If people experience any of the following, they will need to stop exercising and contact a doctor:

  • chest discomfort
  • worsening shortness of breath
  • dizziness
  • nausea
  • rapid heart rate
  • extreme fatigue

It is essential to call a doctor or 911 if the following occur:

  • chest pain
  • swelling in the lower body
  • worsening dizziness or confusion
  • shortness of breath when resting

Best types of exercise for people who have had heart failure

A combination of different exercise types may help benefit people with heart failure.

Moderate intensity resistance training

Resistance training, also known as strength training, involves making the muscles work against a force, which can be in the form of weights, resistance bands, or body weight. Resistance training can help work all the major muscle groups in the body.

Examples of resistance training include:

  • pushups
  • squats
  • chinups
  • exercises with hand weights
  • barbells
  • dumbbells
How often?

The ACSM recommends moderate intensity resistance training at least twice a week, which may help improve functional capacity and overall health. Lifting a weight 10–15 times counts as moderate intensity.

Cardio or aerobic exercise

Aerobic exercise helps improve circulation and lower blood pressure. It also helps control blood sugar.

A moderate level of exercise is one during which a person is still able to talk without being too out of breath.

Examples of aerobic exercise include:

  • brisk walking
  • cycling
  • swimming
  • jogging
  • tennis
  • jumping rope
How often?

People can begin with low to moderate aerobic exercise, aiming for at least 150 minutes per week.

It will likely be easiest to split this throughout the week, aiming to be active for at least 30 minutes on 5 days of the week.

Flexibility exercise

Flexibility, stretching, and balance exercises can complement aerobic and resistance training.

Flexibility exercise helps support the musculoskeletal system by reducing or preventing joint pain, cramping, and muscle aches.

Types of exercise that can boost flexibility include:

How often?

People can do flexibility workouts every day, as well as before and after aerobic or resistance training.

Exercise stages

Warming up and cooling down are important components of exercise.

Stretching before and after exercise can help reduce stress on the heart and muscles, as well as helping prevent injury.

The stages of exercise are as follows:

Warm up

The AHA recommends warming up as it helps with:

  • dilating blood vessels, ensuring a good supply of oxygen to the muscles
  • warming up the muscles to increase flexibility and efficiency
  • raising the heart rate gradually to reduce stress on the heart
  • increasing range of motion and reducing stress on the joints and tendons to help prevent injury

People can warm up for at least 5–10 minutes before exercising by:

  • stretching all major muscle groups
  • performing low intensity cardio that is similar to planned exercise — for example, gently jogging on the spot ahead of going for a run
  • warming up the whole body, such as by walking on a treadmill
Conditioning

This term refers to the exercise session itself, which may involve aerobic, resistance, or flexibility training. In some cases, a person may opt for a combination of different exercise types.

Cool down

Cooling down after exercise is important to help keep blood flowing through the body. Cooling down helps ensure that body temperature and heart rate lower gradually.

The AHA advises that stopping exercise suddenly may cause a rapid drop in heart rate and blood pressure, which can lead to lightheadedness or nausea.

People may wish to cool down by walking at a slow pace for 5 minutes or until the heart rate lowers below 120 beats per minute.

Stretching is a good way to reduce a buildup of lactic acid in the body, which can cause the muscles to cramp or feel stiff.

Tips for stretching include:

  • holding each stretch for 10–30 seconds
  • being able to feel the stretch without it being painful
  • avoiding bouncing the body when stretching
  • maintaining consistent breathing by inhaling when going into the stretch and exhaling while holding the position

Exercise tips

People with heart failure can maximize their chances of exercising safely and maintaining a regular practice by:

  • finding exercise that is enjoyable and can take place at a suitable time
  • finding others to exercise with if this helps with motivation
  • breaking exercise up into sections, such as a short yoga routine upon waking and a lunchtime walk, if it is difficult to fit it into the day
  • avoiding giving up after missing a workout and just starting again the next day
  • avoiding exercising shortly after eating
  • avoiding exercises that require holding the breath
  • exercising in mild temperatures, as very cold, hot, or humid weather can make it more challenging
  • drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated
  • eating a nutritious, well-balanced diet
  • setting simple goals, such as improving mobility or everyday function
  • starting with low impact activities, such as walking or swimming
  • beginning with shorter sessions of 10–15 minutes and gradually building up the duration and frequency of exercise
  • pausing for breaks whenever necessary
  • using a pedometer or activity tracker to monitor progress

Exercise may benefit people with heart failure, as it can strengthen the heart and muscles while improving overall health and fitness.

People with heart failure should speak with a healthcare professional before starting any new exercise program. During the consultation, they can discuss any medication changes or health concerns.

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Nell Rojas—two-time top American finisher at the Boston Marathon—isn’t afraid to lift heavy. When she’s not in the middle of a 26.2 training cycle, like the one that led her to a 2:25:57 PR and 10th place overall finish just last month, she’s in the weight room four days a week. (When her miles pick up, she drops it down to one to two days a week.)

“I love feeling strong,” Rojas tells Runner’s World. “When I’m running, I love having a really strong posture and structure. It really opens up my hips after a long run, for example, so I feel more fluid. And I feel like I’m almost bulletproof when I’m really consistent in the gym, and then it really opens up what I can do in running because I’m confident that I won’t get injured.”

A certified weightlifting coach and functional movement specialist, Rojas not only dedicates her own workouts to building a powerful, resilient body, but coaches other runners to do the same.

To find out exactly what gets her strong enough to bound down Boylston at a nearly 5:30 per mile average pace, we asked Rojas exactly why strength training is so important for runners (for any weightlifting naysayers out there), plus all her tips for how to get the most out of your weight training—and your running.

Why should runners strength train?

“I would say the number-one reason [to strength train] is that it’ll keep you running consistently. Because you need to load your skeleton, so that you can handle all of those miles,” Rojas says. Running is such a forward-moving sport that keeps you in a narrow range of motion, she explains, but strength training can open up that range, getting you out of your typical movement pattern and creating all-over power and resiliency. This is what will keep you healthy, she says.

The number-two reason to make sure strength is on your training plan: It helps add power to every step. “It gives runners the competence to surge up a hill,” she says. “It also plays a huge part in being able to kick at the end of a race—you can recruit more muscle fibers and you have more of that anaerobic reserve that you wouldn’t have, had you not done strength training.”

So if you’re looking for an edge that will help you break a new personal record, strength training could be your ticket to a faster finish.

6 Tips From Rojas on Creating a Powerful Strength-Training Plan

Focus on the lower body

Rojas’s four days in the gym include heavy lifting, with a focus on different parts of the lower body, including the lower leg (like the calves), hip strength, rotational strength (check out her IG post for a few moves), and quad strength.

When asked about her go-to moves, she says she does “a lot” of deadlifts, in a few different forms, plus a few other heavy leg-focused exercises:

Sumo Deadlift: Stand with feet wider than shoulder-width apart, toes turned slightly outward. Holding a barbell or heavy dumbbell in each hand down in front of body, palms facing you, hinge at the hips by sending the butt straight back and bending knees slightly. Keep back flat and core engaged. Drive through feet to stand back up, extending hips. Repeat.

Romanian Deadlift: Standing with feet hip-width apart, toes pointing forward. Holding a barbell or heavy dumbbell in each hand down in front of body, palms facing you, hinge at the hips by sending the butt straight back, creating a micro-bend in the knees. (Knees stay straighter than in the traditional or sumo deadlift.) Keep back flat and core engaged. Drive through feet to stand back up, extending hips. Repeat.

Split Squats: Stand with feet hip-width apart, holding a heavy dumbbell in each hand or with a barbell racked across the shoulders, behind the head. Take a big step back with right foot. This is your starting position. Bend both knees (they should hit about 90 degrees), left knee lowering toward the floor. Right knee should stay tracking over toes. Lower until left knee is just above the floor, then drive through feet to return to starting position. Repeat. Then switch sides.

Reverse Deficit Lunges: Start standing on a box or step. Hold a heavy dumbbell in each hand down by sides. Step left foot back, keeping right foot on top of box or step, and lower into a lunge, both knees bending 90 degrees. Keep chest tall and core tight. Drive through right foot to stand back up. Repeat. Then switch sides.

Leg Press: Start on a leg press machine, feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, knees bent. With control, press the machine away from you until legs are straight, but knees soft. Slowly re-bend knees. Repeat. (Don’t have a leg press machine? Go for a heavy squat.)

Calf Raises: Start standing with feet hip-width apart, holding a heavy dumbbell in each hand or a barbell racked on the shoulders, behind the head. Lift heels off the floor, coming onto the balls of your feet. With control, lower back down. Repeat.

Go for that heavier weight

Rojas most often trains with barbells, especially in moves like the deadlift. For these heavy lifts, she goes for a one-rep max—that’s the most weight you can lift for just one rep—or up to three reps. This form of training really focuses on building strength in the muscles, and considering the moves Rojas performs, it especially targets those key running muscles like the quads, glutes, hamstrings, and calves.

Anything she performs with dumbbells, like the reverse deficit lunge, she’ll go for eight to 12 reps, but still with a heavy weight.

Doing these moves during the offseason, or before a marathon cycle, means she’s really pushing herself hard. “That’s where I get fatigued in the gym; I get sore in the gym,” she says. When she is training for a marathon, Rojas makes sure to put her heavy weight training day on the same day as a hard run workout. That way she has a full day of rest after.

Make sure you move well too

While lifting heavy and building strength is important, so too is making sure you can perform full-range-of-motion movements. That’s why it’s important to incorporate mobility into your routine, focusing on the spine, shoulders, and even your big toe. Working spine and shoulder mobility into your routine allows you to maintain that upright posture on the run, even in the later miles of a race like the marathon, while mobility in the big toe allows for a strong push-off through the gait cycle.

To focus on the spine, Rojas does rotational work. One of her favorites: spinal rotation on the GHD machine at the gym. (You’ll find it on the last slide of her IG post, which also includes breathing exercises.)

When it comes to her feet, Rojas pays special attention to the toe and creating strength through the arch of the foot. For that, she focuses on pails and rails, an isometric way of training that helps to improve range of motion. To do it, find a box or the side of a workout bench where you can extend your big toe up the side. Make sure the ball of the foot stays on the ground while the big toe lifts—you should feel tension from the toes through the heel. Stretch in different directions by bending the knee or rotating the hips. After stretching, press down through the big toe, creating tension to build strength.

Train areas that typically get injured

When planning her strength routines, Rojas focuses on what aspects of her body are prone to injury. “I’ve had Achilles problems; I’ve had neuromas; I’ve had plantar fasciitis; I have bunions. So, I need to make sure I get that foot strength and mobility,” she says. “I need to make sure that I hit the calves and make sure that they’re strong enough to withstand the marathon, that they have the right range of motion, and that they’re not tight.”

Another common spot that causes aches and pains: the hips. “A lot of injuries stem from not having enough hip strength,” Rojas says. “So you want to look at all movements of the hip and really hit that pretty hard.”

Moves like deadlifts, squats, and hip thrusts will hit the hips, but abduction (outer thigh and glute) and adduction (inner thigh) exercises are also key, as well as rotation. (Check out this single-leg deadlift variation with Rojas for exercise inspiration.)

Know the terrain you’re going to tackle

If you’re in the middle of a marathon cycle—or you know a race course you’ll be running in the fall, and you’re starting to weight train now—build strength and power for that specific course.

For Boston, Rojas tailored her strength routine to help her tackle the hills. She focused on eccentric quad work, with moves like walking lunges and reverse Nordic curls (moves one and two on this Instagram video from Rojas), as well as downhill strides. Focusing on the uphill was also in her routine, with moves like uphill bounds (a plyometric move that involves jumping up and forward an incline, on one or two feet) and uphill strides.

Stay consistent and continue to progress

To see strength and power gains from your workout, you have to train regularly—just like you do with your running. “The most important thing with strength is that you're consistent with it,” Rojas says.

You don’t have to spend an hour lifting weights and it doesn’t have to be that hard if you don’t want it to be. “It just needs to be a different stimulus,” she says. “And it needs to progress—whether that means more reps, more sets, or adding more weight.”

Progressive overload is what keeps your body from hitting a plateau so you continue to improve and become an overall well-rounded athlete. Plus, it makes strength work even more exciting.

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Forth Frontier has announced the second generation of their advanced heart rate chest strap. Frontier X2 comes with faster sync, better connectivity and some software updates.

In our review earlier this year of the original device, the smart heart rate monitor impressed us with its plethora of features. Unlike typical chest straps which stop at reading and displaying a user’s heart rate, this one also provides ECG and heart rhythm, in addition to breathing rate, body shock during foot strike, cardiac strain, training load, cadence and more.

The wearable has been designed to allow you to train with confidence you are not over-straining your heart. You can use it to supplement the stats that you typically get from your sports watch with additional insights.

Is your exercise intensity causing undue strain to your heart and lungs? Can you push harder? Frontier X will give you this type of information. The device can also spit out real-time vibration alerts while you are exercising, ensuring that you stay within optimal zones for your heart health.


Frontier X2 – what’s new?

The new version of the product was revealed a couple of days ago. The wearable still looks pretty much the same as the predecessor version. No changes we could spot there apart from the physical button which is Blue now whereas before it was Red.

Frontier X2
Frontier X2

Fourth Frontier says, the second generation has all the ability of the first generation but with some improvements. For starters, this includes three times faster wireless data sync. Now you can upload and view your heart rhythm within seconds of finishing your recording. Before, it could take up to a minute or two depending on the length of your exercise.

Another enhancement which will be important to those that use the wearable as a connected device are faster updates for heart rate. As before, you can use Frontier X2 with up to two external devices that use Bluetooth Low Energy/Bluetooth Smart simultaneously, along with the Frontier X app. So if you have it connected to a Garmin watch, the heart rate updates should come through more often.

Frontier X2

Frontier X2
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Frontier X2

Finally, Frontier X2 and the first generation product have the ability to be used as a 24 hour ECG monitor. This can be useful if you are recovering from a heart issue or simply want to check on the health of your ticker. The difference is that now you have a more detailed ECG/Electrical Rhythm view in the mobile app whereas before it was more basic.

Frontier X2 can be ordered now on the Fourth Frontier website. It sells for $549 so $50 more than the first generation device. A purchase includes a free Cardiac Exercise Specialist review of your exercise activity.

You can view our full review of the first generation device on this link.

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Respiratory trainer is commonly known as breathe exerciser is a device that aims to improve function of the respiratory muscles through specific exercises.

This device increases the amount one can breathe in and delivers a high mixture of oxygen and air.

Respiratory trainer strengthen the muscles of those who suffer from asthma, bronchitis, emphysema and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.

There are variety of respiratory trainers are available in the market which include Ultrabreathe, Powerbreathe, PowerLung, and Expand-A-Lung.

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Respiratory trainer- Usage

To give daily workout to the lung, one should inhale through respiratory trainer for a few minutes twice a day in a simple breathing pattern. Respiratory trainer works on the principle of resistance.

As patient inhale, the resistance created which makes the muscles work harder and the harder they work the stronger and more durable they become.

As the breathing power improves, lung exerciser can be gradually adjusted to provide more resistance with just the twist of a knob.

These days’ doctors are also prescribing respiratory trainer for post-surgery patients to increase their lung power. Respiratory trainers are now also used to increase sports performance.

Respiratory trainer- Benefits

Respiratory trainers are compact, convenient and safe. They improve cardio-pulmonary status of the patient, enhancing the overall fitness and wellbeing.

Respiratory trainers are best lung exercisers that improve oxygenation of blood and reduce fat levels by burning calories.

These trainers are good for athletes which boost their performance. Respiratory trainers also help in achieving optimum lung capacity and restoring disrupted breathing patterns.

It also increases circulation of hormones in the blood which increase the blood blow to the heart, brain and lungs.

Now-a-day doctors prescribed respiratory trainer post-surgery, especially after bypass surgery to restore and maintains lung capacity.

The most important advantage of respiratory trainer is it can be used by anyone. Considering the ever increasing pollution, even healthy person can use respiratory trainer to strengthen the lungs.

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Respiratory trainer- Trends

Presently, respiratory trainer market is driven by rising incidence of respiratory disorder. The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates 235 million people worldwide suffer from asthma.

Besides, technological advancement such as low perfusion and motion tolerant in pulse oximeter, increasing government expenditure, growing patient awareness about various respiratory diseases and rise in demand for better healthcare services is also driven the growth of respiratory trainer market.

Some of the common factors that affect the rate of respiration are age, internal temperature, disease such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and angina is creating robust development in respiratory trainers’ market.

However, critical regulatory compliance procedures inhibit the growth of the respiratory trainer market.

Respiratory trainer- Region

North America dominates the global respiratory trainer market due to technological advancement and increasing incidence of respiratory cases, rising popularity of portable devices and growing demand for home health care devices such as respiratory trainer.

For instance, The American Lung Association states that Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is the third leading cause of death in the US. While, according to the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology, asthma is estimated to grow by more than 100 million by 2025.

Asia-Pacific is the fastest emerging market for global respiratory trainer market because of rising number of patients with respiratory diseases.

Respiratory trainer- Forecast

The respiratory trainer market in Asia Pacific offers large opportunities and is projected to expand at the highest CAGR in the next few years.

This growth is mainly due to factors such as untapped opportunities, improving health care infrastructure, and increasing awareness about the available diagnostic procedure.

Improving health care scenario, rising prevalence of respiratory diseases, and growing investments by market players are the major factors fuelling the growth of global respiratory trainer market.

The research report presents a comprehensive assessment of the market and contains thoughtful insights, facts, historical data, and statistically supported and industry-validated market data.

It also contains projections using a suitable set of assumptions and methodologies. The research report provides analysis and information according to market segments such as geographies, types and applications.

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Regional analysis includes

  • North America (U.S., Canada)
  • Latin America (Mexico. Brazil)
  • Western Europe (Germany, Italy, France, U.K, Spain)
  • Eastern Europe (Poland, Russia)
  • Asia Pacific (China, India, ASEAN, Australia & New Zealand)
  • Japan
  • Middle East and Africa (GCC, S. Africa, N. Africa)

The report is a compilation of first-hand information, qualitative and quantitative assessment by industry analysts, inputs from industry experts and industry participants across the value chain.

The report provides in-depth analysis of parent market trends, macro-economic indicators and governing factors along with market attractiveness as per segments.

The report also maps the qualitative impact of various market factors on market segments and geographies.

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Future Market Insights (ESOMAR certified market research organization and a member of Greater New York Chamber of Commerce) provides in-depth insights into governing factors elevating the demand in the market. It discloses opportunities that will favor the market growth in various segments on the basis of Source, Application, Sales Channel and End Use over the next 10-years

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Exercises and physical activity are useful not only for strengthening the body, but also for fighting anxiety and stress.

Physical activity is often associated with the pursuit of objectives that are mostly aesthetic and related to the body’s resistance. In reality, sport allows you to rebalance your inner serenity, giving our body a real relief valve. The discipline that most of all manages to create a perfect harmony between strengthening and mental health is just that yoga. Practicing this kind of sport in fact inevitably involves the development of self-control, breathing, but also the ability to remain focused and present, totally freeing the mind.

Yoga (Pexels)
Yoga (Pexels)

This discipline includes a myriad of different positions and each of them not only affects a specific muscle group, but involves specific benefits regarding some psychophysical disorders. For example, if we refer to states of anxiety and stress, it is possible to counteract this emotional symptomatology through the execution of some very simple yoga positions. In the next section, we will analyze the simplest of all.

Anxiety and Stress: Learn to relax with yoga

Let’s talk specifically about the potion of the mountain, an exercise useful for stretching the muscles of the abdomen and back, but above all perfect for relaxing the nerves. Often and willingly in fact, anxiety somatizes in the stomach and in the gastrointestinal tract or turns into contractures at the level of the back and neck. By performing the mountain position, we will favor a relaxation of the muscles mentioned above and this will allow us to relieve the effects of anxiety.

Mountain location (Pexels)
Mountain location (Pexels)

The execution is very simple: you simply have to position yourself erect, with your feet firmly on the ground. At this point, take a deep breath and raise your arms to their full potential, being careful not to lift your shoulders and keeping your shoulder blades open. This position it will allow you to stretch your arms, back and abdomen. In addition, it promotes breathing as it allows the lungs to act to their maximum potential. In this way, not only will you eliminate contractures and abdominal pain, but you will be able to promote relaxation of the whole body (as well as stimulating the growth and elongation of the muscles, acquiring a few more centimeters). Seeing is believing!

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The legal world is a stressful place. Paperwork, deadlines, details, confidential information, anxious clients – this and more is enough to stress out anyone, even seasoned attorneys, paralegals and support staff. Tight deadlines and reams of paperwork are unavoidable in the legal world, however. Many legal professionals do their best to power through, with no stress management plan in place.

Ignored workplace stress has very real side effects on your health – none of them positive. Stress often results in poor diet choices, such as a fast-food habit, too much caffeine, sugar, etc. Stress can result in physical pain and worse. The real, physical effects of stress include:

  • Headache
  • Muscle tension and aches
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Poor sleep or insomnia
  • Irritability

These discomforts can drive people to further unhealthy choices, like tobacco use, or zoning out in front of the tv, adding fuel to the fire. Ultimately, unchecked stress can lead to serious health issues, e.g., high blood pressure, obesity, and even heart disease, the number one cause of death in the United States. Stress need not lead to such dire results, however. Stress is a fact of life to be taken seriously and dealt with appropriately.

There are many healthy tactics you can use to manage stress. Here is a short list of suggestions.

  • Take breaks. These can be very short if deadlines dictate!
    • Do a lap around the office/home/neighborhood. This provides both a quick mental break and movement for a little endorphin push.
    • Stretch! A couple minutes of stretching can make a big difference in your mood.
    • Look out a window and take a few deep breaths, maybe give your neck a little stretch, or just take your time drinking some water.
    • Go outside for a few minutes with a cup of coffee. Enjoy fresh air and quiet.

Different studies suggest different intervals, so figure out what works for you and your workload and start taking little breaks to refresh. Don’t waste the break scrolling on your phone. Rest your eyes and avoid unpleasant news notifications, etc.

  • Move more. Work and technology have made us a very sedentary society, unfortunately. Sitting too long is no good for your health, so get up! There are many different types of exercise, so there is bound to be at least one you will enjoy. Some activities are especially good for working up a sweat and dissolving daily stresses. These include:
    • Dancing! Who doesn’t enjoy dancing? Maybe not in front of other people, but most of us love to dance. Turn up your favorite music and break out your best moves.
    • Walking is fantastic low-impact cardio work. It is also a great time to organize your thoughts, work out a problem, or just unplug and enjoy nature.
    • Kickboxing is a great way to “attack” stress. Literally punch and kick it out. Kickboxing also requires coordination and focus, so you’re distracted from daily worries and get a real mental break while engaging in a healthy activity.
    • Team sports! Grab a friend for a tennis match, make a regular date with some buddies for basketball, whatever game you and yours like. You get to be active and enjoy the company of your friends, a surefire way to melt anxiety and calories at the same time.
    • Yoga requires a lot of focus and encourages deep breathing, both good for stress relief, as you are focusing on your posture rather than your problems, and deep breathing has a very calming effect. Yoga also stretches your muscles, releasing tension you may be holding in your neck, shoulders, low back and hips, areas stress loves to creep into and torment.
  • Talk to someone. Stress can be overwhelming, and any human can relate. Talk to a trusted friend. Release some of the pent-up frustration. They may have advice or just a good ear and sympathetic word. They may be able to see if you need to talk to someone else, like a professional who can help you better cope. Again, stress should not be treated lightly, and it’s ok to need extra help!
  • Sleep. Stress is an exhausting phenomenon. Don’t let it wear you down and weaken your immune system. Get some rest.
  • Do something you love. Hobbies are beneficial. They are an opportunity to get some “me time” and an instant mood boost. It is never too late to discover a new hobby to love. Learning a new activity relieves stress by providing another healthy distraction and the feeling of accomplishment as you master a musical instrument, for example, or see your vegetable garden’s first harvest!

Stress is a frustrating element of work. It has benefits, in that it gives you an adrenalin kick that can spur you to meet your deadlines or put in the extra effort and give a terrific presentation. However, stress can very quickly lead to severe consequences, if not properly managed. The past two years have been particularly stressful for many, reminding all of us of the need to take all aspects of health seriously. Take the time to tackle your stress and feel the weight lift off your shoulders. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain!

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With the demands of busy modern life, it can sometimes feel like fitting exercise and muscle recovery into your everyday routine is impossible. Our muscles decline with age, running the risk of conditions like sarcopenia and frailty. Prioritising exercise and recovery is therefore a long-term investment into your health, longevity, and enjoyment of life. There are several strategies you can use to take control of muscle recovery.

What is muscle recovery?

Exercise affects our body’s natural equilibrium, known as homeostasis, in several ways. We can feel some of these changes immediately, for example our breathing and heart rate accelerate during exercise in order to provide the body with enough oxygen. Exercise also requires a lot of energy, which the body provides through adenosine triphosphate (ATP), used to power our muscles. ATP is produced by the mitochondria, known from biology class as the powerhouse of the cell. If there’s not enough oxygen available, ATP is instead produced using a different process, the by-product of which is lactic acid.

Changes also happen in our muscles. During exercise, especially strength-based training, muscle fibres are forced to contract and stretch repeatedly. This causes tiny tears in the muscle fabric. While this process is necessary to building muscle, these tears, as well as lactic acid, can cause muscle soreness after exercise. While this may be uncomfortable in the short term, the stress exercise exposes your muscles to actually leads to larger gains in the long term.

This is where muscle recovery comes in. As exercise stops and we enter the cool down period, your body will return to normal homeostasis. This gives your body a chance to repair muscle damage and clear any residual lactic acid from exercise. So-called satellite cells swarm to the site of the microscopic muscle tears. Here, they form a new muscle protein strand to help prepare the muscle for future exercise. The rest period is therefore as important as exercise itself, as this is when muscles are rebuilt bigger and stronger.

We all know the distinct feeling of muscle fatigue the day after a workout. Taking a rest day to recover your muscles is integral to building and strengthening our muscles. But what if there was a way to accelerate this process?

How long does it take for your muscles to recover?

How long it takes for your muscles to recover depends on the intensity, type and duration of exercise as well as your individual fitness level.  In general though, muscle repair after particularly intense exercise can take between 24 and 48 hours. There is much debate around which type of muscle recovery is more effective, active or passive. Active recovery involves doing low-impact exercise to recover from a more intense work out, for example by walking or cycling. While passive recovery requires no movement at all. Active recovery appears to clear lactic acid from your muscles more quickly than passive recovery as it keeps your heart rate up [1].

How to improve muscle recovery

While the pain we go through during exercise makes us stronger, many people seek to speed up the recovery process. There are several different methods to do this, but how effective are they?

Foods that improve muscle recovery

Eating a healthy, balanced diet is always beneficial to health and longevity. In fact, nutrition is thought to be the easiest and more effective lifestyle change we can make to lose weight, protect health and improve longevity. Building muscle is as much to do with diet as it is with exercise, so can the benefits of a balanced diet be extended to improving muscle recovery?

Eating a healthy, balanced diet is always beneficial to health and longevity.
  • Our muscles are made of protein, so it makes sense that eating more protein before and after workouts would boost muscle recovery. Indeed, one study showed that eating 20-40 grams of high-quality protein pre- and post-workout can boost muscle protein synthesis after exercise [2]. In practice, this could look like one serving of grilled chicken, Greek yogurt or a tin of tuna.
  • Carbohydrates are stored as glycogen and used as fuel for ATP during exercise. Therefore, eating more carbohydrates before exercise will give us more energy, see the pre-marathon tradition of eating carb-high meals like pasta. This can also be done post-workout to restore the glycogen used up during exercise.
  • Eating a balanced diet. As well as boosting health and longevity, getting enough nutrients through a balanced diet full of colourful fruit and vegetables can help your muscles’ ability to recover.

Read more about the ‘longevity diet’ for improving health and lifespan HERE.

Drinks for faster muscle recovery

What we drink can also have an impact on how well our muscles recover after exercise. We need water to survive, especially during exercise when we lose water through sweat and respiration in a hot and sweaty gym hall. Replenishing water during and after exercise is integral to making you as well as your muscles feel better, as dehydration can impair muscle recovery.

Less conventional libations include tart cherry juice, which consumed before and after exercise can reduce inflammation, muscle damage and soreness after exercise [3]. This makes a natural alternative to so-called sports drinks laced with glucose designed to replenish energy after exercise. However, considering their high concentrations of sugar, additives, and citric acid, they are more suited to marathon runners than casual gym-goers.

Less conventional libations include tart cherry juice, which consumed before and after exercise can reduce inflammation, muscle damage and soreness after exercise

The best supplements for muscle recovery

Many people are supplementing their diet with protein powders to top up their protein intake and build and improve muscles. A variety of options are available on the market using protein from plants, eggs or milk. However, some protein powders contain other ingredients like added sugars, flavourings and thickeners. While considerably safer than using anabolic steroids, it may be healthier to get your protein from high-quality sources in your diet than in powdered form.

A more effective way of improving muscle strength and recovery is by using urolithin A, the powerful postbiotic that is produced in the gut after eating certain foods like pomegranate. A simpler way to get enough urolithin A is by taking Timeline supplements that contain 500mg of Mitopure’s purified urolithin A. Our muscles are powered by the ATP produced by mitochondria, which are most concentrated in muscle cells. With age, our mitochondria can wear out, hastening muscle fatigue. Luckily, urolithin A can trigger mitophagy, the process by which old and dysfunctional mitochondria and cleared. It has also been shown to maximise muscle endurance in human clinical trials. Regularly taking Mitopure supplements could therefore help maintain mitochondria and muscle health as we age.

Many people are supplementing their diet with protein powders to top up their protein intake and build and improve muscles.

Healthy habits to help muscle recovery

Our general health is determined by a complex interplay of our genetics, lifestyle choices, and a combination of both known as epigenetics. Therefore, there are other lifestyle habits that can impact muscle recovery along with what we consume.

  • Tailor your exercise routine. The type, duration and intensity of your chosen exercise greatly impacts muscle recovery. For example, a marathon runner stresses very different muscles than a weightlifter does. It is therefore important to tailor your recovery to your workout. Endurance training like cycling or running works out multiple groups of muscles and has holistic health benefits. It therefore also requires full-body recovery. Whereas strength training, working out specific muscle groups through repetitive reps using weights, resistance bands or your own bodyweight requires more localised recovery. Some exercise, like swimming, combines these two types of exercise and require their own type of recovery.

Varying your workouts so you’re exercising different muscle groups can help hasten muscle recovery. Follow a day of running with weightlifting so you’re resting one part of your body while training another. As you build your fitness, your recovery time should also improve. It is a good idea to scale up your training, to push your fitness as well as your recovery capacity.

  • Take rest days. As well as alternating muscle groups, it is important to leave gaps for rest days in your weekly exercise schedule. While it may be tempting to do as much exercise as possible to maximise your gains, you’re actually doing your muscles a disservice – as well as increasing the chance of muscle strain and injuries. As well as active and passive recovery periods during exercise, it is important to leave days blank for full recovery. If you’re not allowing your muscles the chance to recover fully, you could accumulate minute muscle tears that could lead to muscle strains. As well as being painful, these can also impair your athletic performance.
  • Get more sleep. There’s nothing like a good night’s sleep following exercise. Working out tires out your body, so you may need extra sleep to compensate. Sleep allows your heart to recover, promotes cellular growth and muscle repair. Research into sleep agrees that seven hours a night is the optimal amount of sleep for better health and longevity. If you’ve been working out, your body may require even more. However, it is important not to indulge in too many long lies, as chronic oversleeping as well as under-sleeping has been implicated in the development of chronic diseases. Sleep should therefore be as big a priority in your fitness routine as nutrition and exercise itself.
As well as alternating muscle groups, it is important to leave gaps for rest days in your weekly exercise schedule.

Things to avoid for better muscle recovery

We all need to occasionally indulge in things branded as ‘bad’ for us to fully enjoy our lives. However, we all know that vices such as smoking, unhealthy foods and excessive alcohol consumption are bad to health and longevity and should be kept to a minimum. They can also impair exercise performance and muscle recovery.

A glass of red wine may be a staple of longevity-boosting Mediterranean diets, excessive alcohol consumption is unfortunately perilous to health and lifespan. Many team sports promote the culture of hard drinking after training sessions. One study investigated the effect of this on athletes’ muscle recovery and found that alcohol consumption impairs protein synthesis after exercise [4]. Try to keep alcohol consumption to a minimum for holistic health benefits, and especially after training to avoid impairing muscle recovery.

The negative health impacts of smoking tobacco have been in public knowledge since the 1960s. As well as severely impacting your fitness and lung capacity, smoking can also affect your musculoskeletal system, hindering muscle recovery [5]. Studies have linked smoking with increased risk of muscle injury, joint disease and broken bones. It therefore should be avoided to boost your general fitness as well as your muscle recovery.

References:

[1] www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3931336/
[2] www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3577439/                                    
[3] www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4271620/
[4] www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3922864/
[5] www.hindawi.com/journals/jeph/2018/4184190/

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California (United States) – The Heart Rate Monitor Market research report provides all the information related to the industry. It gives the outlook of the market by giving authentic data to its client which helps to make essential decisions.  It gives an overview of the market which includes its definition, applications and developments and manufacturing technology. This Heart Rate Monitor market research report tracks all the recent developments and innovations in the market. It gives the data regarding the obstacles while establishing the business and guides to overcome the upcoming challenges and obstacles.

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Competitive landscape:

This Heart Rate Monitor research report throws light on the major market players thriving in the market; it tracks their business strategies, financial status and upcoming products.

Some of the Top companies Influencing in this Market include:Apple, Garmin, Visiomed Group, SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS, Nike, Fitbit, Mio Global, Beurer, Omron Healthcare, LG Electronics, TomTom International, Motorola Solutions, Sony

Market Scenario:

Firstly, this Heart Rate Monitor research report introduces the market by providing the overview which includes definition, applications, product launches, developments, challenges and regions. The market is forecasted to reveal strong development by driven consumption in various markets.  An analysis of the current market designs and other basic characteristic is provided in the Heart Rate Monitor report.

Global Heart Rate Monitor Market Segmentation:

Market Segmentation: By Type

Wearable (Chest Strap, Wrist Strap, Strapless), Non-Wearable), Indication (Sports, Medical)

Market Segmentation: By Application

Hospital & Clinics, Sport Medicine Centers, Professionals, Individuals

Regional Coverage:

The region wise coverage of the market is mentioned in the report, mainly focusing on the regions:

  • North America
  • South America
  • Asia and Pacific region
  • Middle east and Africa
  • Europe

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An assessment of the market attractiveness with regard to the competition that new players and products are likely to present to older ones has been provided in the publication. The research report also mentions the innovations, new developments, marketing strategies, branding techniques, and products of the key participants present in the global Heart Rate Monitor market. To present a clear vision of the market the competitive landscape has been thoroughly analyzed utilizing the value chain analysis. The opportunities and threats present in the future for the key market players have also been emphasized in the publication.

Global Heart Rate Monitor market Report Scope:

Report Attribute Description
Market size available for years 2022 – 2029
Base year considered 2021
Historical data 2016– 2021
Forecast Period 2022 – 2029
Quantitative units Revenue in USD Million and CAGR from 2022 to 2029
Segments Covered Types, Applications, End-Users, and more.
Report Coverage Revenue Forecast, Company Ranking, Competitive Landscape, Growth Factors, and Trends
Regional Scope North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, Middle East and Africa
Customization scope Free report customization with purchase. Addition or alteration to country, regional & segment scope.
Pricing and purchase options If you have any special requirements, please let us know and we will offer you the report as you want.

This report aims to provide:

  • A qualitative and quantitative analysis of the current trends, dynamics, and estimations from 2022 to 2029.
  • The analysis tools such as SWOT analysis, Porter’s five force analysis are utilized which explains the potency of the buyers and suppliers to make profit-oriented decisions and strengthen their business.
  • The in-depth analysis of the market segmentation helps to identify the prevailing market opportunities.
  • In the end, this Heart Rate Monitor report helps to save you time and money by delivering unbiased information under one roof.

Table of Contents

Global Heart Rate Monitor Market Research Report 2022 – 2029

Chapter 1 Heart Rate Monitor Market Overview

Chapter 2 Global Economic Impact on Industry

Chapter 3 Global Market Competition by Manufacturers

Chapter 4 Global Production, Revenue (Value) by Region

Chapter 5 Global Supply (Production), Consumption, Export, Import by Regions

Chapter 6 Global Production, Revenue (Value), Price Trend by Type

Chapter 7 Global Market Analysis by Application

Chapter 8 Manufacturing Cost Analysis

Chapter 9 Industrial Chain, Sourcing Strategy and Downstream Buyers

Chapter 10 Marketing Strategy Analysis, Distributors/Traders

Chapter 11 Market Effect Factors Analysis

Chapter 12 Global Heart Rate Monitor Market Forecast

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Grammy-winning dancehall and reggae artist Sean Paul has suffered from asthma since age 14.

The disease — which affects roughly 300 million worldwide, and increases its prevalence by 50% every decade — is a respiratory disease that affects your lungs, causing such symptoms as wheezing, coughing and chest tightness.

The 49-year-old musician, known for such hits as “Temperature,” “She Doesn’t Mind,” and “I’m Still In Love With You,” tells Samaritan he was frightened when the global pandemic hit in March of 2020 because a coronavirus is a respiratory illness and people with asthmatic conditions are more at risk.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), “People with moderate-to-severe or uncontrolled asthma are more likely to be hospitalized from COVID-19.”

This fear caused Paul to make a major decision: Isolating for five months, without leaving home even once. His wife ran errands while he remained housebound, all the while performing virtual concerts.

“May is Asthma Awareness Month — a time to educate friends, family, and patients about asthma and promote awareness about how this serious, sometimes life-threatening, chronic respiratory disease can be controlled,” according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

Samaritan spoke to Paul for Asthma Awareness Month to gain more insight into what it’s like to live with asthma. His new album, Scorcha, drops May 27.

Were you born with asthma or did you develop this condition later in life?
I don’t think I had asthma at birth. My aunt and mom’s sister had it as kids. At first, of course, I didn’t know what it was, and when my aunt was younger, they didn’t have the inhaler in Jamaica yet. I don’t know if it had even been developed. My mom basically stuffed garlic and lemon juice down my throat with honey to try to cut the mucus out. But it isn’t really about that: The lungs lock down. We did try that for a minute and when my asthma got a little worse, the doctor introduced me to the inhaler — a little asthma inhaler. I don’t remember what they call it, but there were no steroids in them at the time.

Did you discover a natural remedy that helped?
When I first started to smoke ganja, I would only take one or two draws off a spliff for the entire day and that would have me going for a while. I did notice that after smoking and the initial choking — because your lungs ain’t used to the smoke — I would open up, like, “Woah: I can finally breathe good again.” And that felt great. This became a double reason to smoke. A few tokes helped my asthma and gave me euphoria, putting me in a good mood, you know what I mean? It’s a win-win situation.

You participated in swimming competitions at an early age. Did the inhaler help you during these years?
Here in Jamaica, we use a little blue container with medicine inside. That has done the job for me ever since. At age 14, the doctor told me that my asthma is sport-induced. When I started to do a lot of sports, my lungs started locking up. He suggested taking two puffs before swimming, playing a football game or whatever. As a kid, I suffered with these symptoms until the inhaler came in and then I realized that before I’d swim or exercise, I just had to take a puff.

Are there any stereotypes about asthmatics?
I don’t know. When I say that I have asthma, people just say, ‘Oh.’ Sometimes they don’t know much about the symptoms, while some people ask, “Woah, how do you manage?” The thing is, asthma doesn’t affect my vocal cords, only the air in my lungs. But when I sing, I’m breathing deeply and expressing a lot. That helps me develop stronger lungs, much like swimming has done.  People didn’t understand. “How could you swim? How do you sing? It doesn’t make sense?” When I’m having a bad asthma attack, I can’t do anything like that. However, I haven’t had a real bad attack since I was about 15-years-old.

I do get very congested when I smoke too much weed, though.  At around age 17, I started to experiment with marijuana. I remember when I stopped smoking for five years once and only ingested homemade edibles that I made with cannaoil and weed. I couldn’t keep smoking so much with my asthmatic condition. But I started smoking again around December 2020 [lifts blunt up and laughs].

What is "So much?"
Like seven blunts a day; and the chalice, chain, smoking on and on. My weed tolerance is crazy. When I started to ingest it, people who came to bring me pot were like, “That’s insane how much you’re using, bro, that’s nuts!” So smoking did raise my tolerance. But the euphoria and feeling of creativity is really dope. Especially when I ingest it rather than smoke, then there’s no problem with my lungs at all.

How were you impacted when the pandemic hit? Having asthma can be more detrimental if you get covid.
I didn’t go anywhere for the first five months. I was locked down. I was like a hermit crab. My family was here with me, but I wouldn’t go on the road. My wife went and did grocery shopping and such. I just stayed at home. When people have asthma or have had an asthma attack, they know that feeling of starving for breath and the anxiety that it gives you. You can't sleep, and there’s a lot of things that it does to you mentally as well. When I heard this [that people with asthma are more at-risk], I was in shock, afraid. Having asthma, I never want that to be the case. I never want there to be something that restricts my lungs so much that I can’t even breathe. If you have mild asthma, which I’ve had since about 15 years old, you learn to cope. There's been times when I’ve been on stage and congested. But the warmer I got on stage, my lungs opened up, so I felt good. I felt like I could handle it. But when I hear what this virus is doing to people, especially people like myself, it leaves me in a state of fear.

Is that why you went into seclusion?
Yes. That was the main reason. I also didn’t want the virus spreading to my kids; I have two young children, a grandmother who lives next door and my mom. You see, my grandma is 97 and my mom is 70. For all of these reasons, I stayed inside.  You kind of have to tell yourself in your head, yo, it’s okay — you know what I mean? Because if you don’t face the anxiety, that’s going to restrict your breathing even more. It’s all been crazy. I’ve gotten used to the mask, which is annoying because you get less oxygen [ed. note: there is no scientific evidence to suggest masks restrict oxygen] and feel out of breath all the time. But I’m familiar with that feeling and have been for a long time since I suffer from mild asthma. 

Did remaining indoors for almost half a year negatively impact your state of mind?
I told myself that people are in worse positions than me. There are people in prison that can’t even go out into the yard. And I have a nice yard. I can go outside and feel good. I spent many days and nights outside. I took walks around my yard and tried to stay fit by doing aerobics or whatever; because as someone with asthma, you need to continue physical activity to an extent. It’s a good thing for asthmatics to be involved in some sort of sport that incorporates cardio activity. Doing push-ups and sit-ups in the middle of the night and talking to friends on WhatsApp who couldn’t sleep during the lockdown helped me out mentally.

But then eventually I realized, “I have to get out and do something.” My family and I went to the beach. I was all masked up, and everybody on the beach was like what’s wrong with this guy — the sun, the scorching heat, his mask. There were a few, gradual months before feeling more comfortable. And every now and then I catch myself like, “Yo, you’re being too comfortable, let’s get this back in focus.” The reason being, covid ain’t no joke. Whatever it is out there, it is something scary and with asthma, there’s a double threat for me. I need to be vigilant. I walk everywhere with my [sanitizing] spray, and spray my hands after I touch anything while always wearing a mask. We got to survive so I just put my mind towards doing so.

Did you create your two new albums (2021’s Live N Livin, and forthcoming Scorcha) during isolation?
I did some work before, but most of it was done during those five months at home. When I was secluded, I was building riddims at home, and, honestly, I didn’t feel like writing anything or recording anything, but I did feel like creating music so I built rhythms. It was a thing for me, in terms of not feeling like recording but wanting to make music.

Were you able to find anything else positive about being housebound for so long?
Just refocusing was something that happened. Every day I told myself, “You’re going to be alright. And the people you know tell you that you’re going to be okay, so just stay focused.” 

Then I was like, what am I focusing on? Health and levity, yeah, but also music. That’s why more conscious, potent lyrics came out. “Guns of Navarone'' is one of the songs on the album that dropped in March 2021 [Live N Livin] and also the track “Danger Zone.” In the second song I mentioned, I wanted to be saying things about that topic forever. But usually when I’m on tour — when I’m on a plane or stage — I don’t have the time to always be like, “Hold up, let me dig deeper into my thoughts on what I want to say.” I’ll hear the riddim on the track, know what’s hot to say and I’ll do that. Those five months gave me the time to say, “No, I got time now. I want to write lyrics with more depth and meaning. I want to focus in that direction more.”

So to answer your question: Music gave me positivity during uncertain and scary times.

What advice would you share with fellow asthma sufferers?
Remember that with asthma, or so I was taught, there’s a part of it that’s in your mind. When you feel your chest getting tighter, try to relax your mind. When you start feeling the chest tightening up and anxiety makes you feel worse, your breathing worsens. You got to get used to that feeling, which is awful to tell people, but you get used to that a little bit. And you should feel relief from your inhaler, too. But the main thing for me is sports. It is important: Physical activity helps develop the muscles which helps the lungs open and close with fresh air more and more. That’s the best thing for your lungs, to tell you the honest truth: Clean oxygen.

*The views in this article are Sean Paul’s personal experience. Please consult with a physician with any specific questions about inhalers, marijuana, or exercise.

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Physical activity and rest are both important after a mastectomy or breast reconstruction surgery. Your body is recovering from a serious procedure that requires time, patience, and the right exercise program tailored to your specific needs in order to heal and feel better.

Performing specific exercises after a mastectomy or breast reconstruction can help keep the range of motion in your shoulder and arm, relieve stiffness and pain, and reduce swelling.

Even something as simple as combing or brushing your hair or reaching behind your back to touch under the shoulder blades is considered critical exercise after a surgical procedure.

The important thing is to ease back into exercise gradually to avoid overloading the system. Here, we go over exercise considerations, physical activity in the first week, cardio exercise, and strength training after a mastectomy or breast reconstruction surgery.

Exercising after a mastectomy or breast reconstruction often depends on any restrictions put in place by the surgeon, says Diana Garrett, D.P.T., O.C.S., C.L.T., C.S.C.S. at Saint John’s Cancer Institute.

“Some surgeons prefer only light activity after surgery for two to three weeks, so it’s essential to get clearance from your physician about what you can and cannot do,” she says.

Physical activity also depends on the type of surgery and your overall health. In general, it’s best to avoid vigorous exercises and heavy lifting so that your wounds have a chance to heal, says Constance M. Chen, MD, a board-certified plastic surgeon and breast reconstruction specialist.

“In a healthy person, it takes six to eight weeks for full wound healing to occur,” Dr. Chen says.

Overall, the American Cancer Society recommends starting slowly and only progressing when you are ready (1). They also suggest working with a cancer exercise specialist or physical therapist to make sure you’re doing the exercises properly.

In the first week after mastectomy (with or without breast reconstruction), Dr. Chen says it’s important to walk so that you can move your muscles and get your lungs and legs working again. However, you should avoid vigorous, repetitive movements that prevent wound healing.

Because breast surgery is linked to shoulder and scapular dysfunction, Garrett says it’s essential to regain full mobility after surgery. Some of the top exercises Garrett does with patients the week after mastectomy or reconstruction are:

  • Diaphragmatic breathing (belly breathing): You can practice this several times a day in a seated or prone position. Begin by taking a deep breath while expanding your chest and belly. Relax and then blow it out. Do this about four to six times, several times a day.
  • Shoulder blade pinches: In a seated position, place your arms at your sides with elbows bent. Squeeze your shoulder blades together to bring your elbows behind you. Hold for a few seconds and then return to the starting position. Repeat five times.
  • Arm-assisted raises: Use the non-involved arm to raise the surgical-side arm overhead until a stretch is felt. You can do this several times a day.
  • Elbow openers or elbow winging: You can do this lying on the floor or in bed. Place your hands behind your head. Your elbows will point toward the ceiling. Move the elbows apart and down toward the floor. Do this five to seven times.

In addition to the movements above, the American Cancer Society recommends lying down and raising the surgery-side arm above heart level for 45 minutes to help ease swelling. Aim to do this two to three times a day. You can also open and close your hand 15 to 20 times and bend and straighten the elbow to help ease swelling (1).

Gentle stretching, arm circles, seated side bends, and shoulder rolls are other exercises you can perform in the week after surgery.

All exercises should be pain-free. Garrett says you should feel a stretch, but if there is any pain, do not go as far into the stretch. Aim to do these exercises each day.

Because of suture healing, Garrett says you will likely delay cardiovascular exercise until the surgeon clears you.

According to Chen, if you are healthy and healing well, you should be able to return to cardio exercises two months after surgery. However, you should consult with your surgeon to make sure that this is appropriate for your specific situation.

Walking is an excellent activity to incorporate during the first few months until your doctor gives you the okay to move on to more vigorous cardiovascular exercises.

Cardio exercise guidelines for breast reconstruction are similar to mastectomy. That said, since there is more than one type of breast reconstruction surgery, the exercises you perform will depend on the type of surgery you had. Your surgeon will give you recommendations based on your procedure.

The American Cancer Society recommends adding strength training exercises to your routine about four to six weeks after surgery (1). You can perform exercises with a small set of hand weights or resistance bands.

After your doctor gives you the okay to add strength training exercises to your routine, you’ll want to aim for two days a week, as recommended by the American Cancer Society and the American College of Sports Medicine.

Many times after surgery, Garrett says the pectoral muscles tend to be shortened and tight. While stretching the chest muscles will help, she says it’s also beneficial to strengthen the back muscles and the area between the scapulae.

“Strengthening these muscles will help to improve overall posture and upper body strength,” Garrett says. She recommends using an assortment of resistance bands and dumbbell exercises to target specific muscles such as the rhomboids, latissimus, lower and middle trapezius, and the rotator cuff muscles.

Additionally, Garrett suggests incorporating core strengthening to improve overall postural control.

Strength exercise guidelines for breast reconstruction are similar to mastectomy. However, as mentioned earlier, there is more than one type of breast reconstruction surgery, and the exercises you perform will depend on the type. Your surgeon will give you recommendations based on your procedure.

When performing exercises in the weeks after mastectomy and breast reconstruction surgery, you should only do what’s comfortable for you. This may take some trial and error to determine your pain threshold, but when in doubt, stop if you feel any discomfort.

It’s normal to experience some tightness in your chest and armpit, but the American Cancer Society says this should decrease as you do your exercises (1).

Also, try to perform exercises when your body is warm — like after showering — and make sure to wear loose-fitting clothing that is comfortable.

If you’re exercising on your own and experience any one of the following symptoms, stop what you’re doing and contact your doctor (1).

  • pain that gets worse
  • feeling like you are getting weaker
  • a loss of balance or falling
  • having a new heaviness or aching sensation in your arm
  • unusual swelling that gets worse, or headaches, dizziness, tingling, or blurred vision

Exercising after breast surgery is a critical step in recovery. Make sure to go slow and only do movements that feel comfortable.

Your doctor should provide you with a treatment plan that includes specific exercises to perform immediately and for the first few weeks after surgery.

If possible, ask about working with a physical therapist trained in post-surgery rehab. They can assist you with the exercises, make sure you are doing the moves correctly, and design a long-term fitness routine that supports your recovery. Soon, you’ll be on the path to regain strength and cardiovascular health.

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Ambrane Wise Eon Price in India: Cheapest and hottest smartwatch launched with Bluetooth calling, will give up to 10 days in less than 2 thousand - ambrane wise eon new bluetooth calling smartwatch launched under rs2000 with 10days battery life

Smartwatch under 2000: The Ambrane Wise Eon watch has been launched for the customers, which the company claims offers power-packed performance at an affordable price. Talking about the important features, in addition to Bluetooth calling, voice assistant support will be available in this watch. Let us give you detailed information from the price to the features of this latest smartwatch.

Ambrane Wise Eon Price in India

The price of this latest Ambrane Watch has been fixed at Rs 1,999, which you will get exclusively on Flipkart with Black Silicone Strap.

Ambrane Wise Eon Features
The watch sports a 1.69-inch smooth touch display that offers 240×280 pixels resolution with 450 nits peak brightness. In the watch, customers will get many health features such as blood oxygen, heart-rate, blood pressure, breathing training, sleep tracking. Talking about battery backup, the phone lasts for 10 days in a single charge, in this you have also been given microphone and speaker with inbuilt dialer. You’ll find over 100 cloud-best watch faces that you can customize. With the help of Bluetooth calling support, you will be able to make and receive calls through the watch itself.

It has more than 60 sports modes and this watch comes with IP68 rating for water and dust resistant. Let us tell you that for the customers, the company has given three games pre-installed in this latest watch itself. Apart from this, you also get many features like remote camera, alarm, music player and stopwatch.

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Ambrane Wise Eon Smartwatch has a 1.69-inch Cube Shape Touch Display. This display comes with 450 Nits brightness and 240×280 pixel resolution. This smartwatch has a cube dial, due to which it can be used by male and female comfortably. The Ambrane Wise Eon smartwatch comes with 3 pre-installed games. Apart from this, features like alarm, stopwatch, remote camera, music player, and alert have also been provided in it.

The Wise Eon smartwatch has also been given features keeping in mind the health, it has features like SpO2 sensor, blood pressure tracking, heart rate monitoring, sleep tracking, breathing training and calorie tracking. More than 60 sports modes are available in it. You can use this smartwatch easily as it comes with IP68 water and dust resistance rating. This smartwatch can last up to 10 days on a single charge, the company has claimed.

The new Wise Eon smartwatch has a microphone and speaker, it also has the feature of Bluetooth calling. It also has an inbuilt dialer. Users can also give commands to the voice assistant through this smartwatch. It includes more than 100 cloud based watch faces. Not only this, users can select the wallpaper according to their choice.



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Inbase, which deals with various gadgets, has introduced a smart watch called Urban Lite X, which offers a waterproof design and many modern features at an affordable price.

The Urban X Lite features a bright 1.6-inch display and an aluminum and polycarbonate body. This lightweight device comes with a comfortable silicone strap. As mentioned, the Urban X Lite is IP68 dust and water resistant.

X Lite is equipped with a Bluetooth 5.0 module for connecting to a smartphone, after which the watch can display call/message notifications. They can also be used to control certain features of the phone, such as the camera, volume, and so on.

Large screen, heart rate, SpO2 and pressure measurements, IP68 and 15 days without recharging - less than $ 30.  Urban Lite X smartwatch introduced

Urban X Lite is equipped with a heart rate sensor, a blood oxygen level (SpO2) sensor and a blood pressure measurement function. The watch can also count steps and detect sleep patterns. Other health-focused features include sedentary alerts, guided breathing mode, and multiple sports modes (walking, running, climbing, yoga, football, basketball, badminton, swimming, ski jumping, and cycling).

You can choose from a range of built-in watch faces or set any image on the screen. The smart watch lasts up to 15 days in normal mode or up to 60 days in standby mode.

The price of the device is $28.

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Keeping track of your fitness and wellbeing is becoming increasingly structured and less periodic thanks to the availability of wearable devices that can monitor important fitness and health metrics 24/7.

The latest WHOOP 4.0 band is designed to help you track the impact of your training activity, along with your recovery and sleep, in order to identify actions that will help you maintain and improve your fitness.

It’s used by many athletes, including the EF Education–EasyPost pro cycling team, to track recovery, sleep and health metrics. This, in turn, helps inform how one should train on a given day.

What is WHOOP?

The WHOOP 4.0 is a discreet wearable band that tracks key health and fitness metrics 24/7.
WHOOP

WHOOP is a fitness coaching system that captures data on your physical condition using the WHOOP 4.0 band, a non-invasive monitoring device you wear on your wrist 24/7.

Working alongside the WHOOP app, the system analyses your personal data to provide information in three areas that form the three pillars of WHOOP’s service: Strain, Recovery and Sleep.

WHOOP assesses your strain level based on the activity you’ve undertaken that day. It also identifies your recovery status to assess your readiness to train, and tracks your sleep, which in itself is a vital part of the recovery process. We’ll talk about these metrics in more detail a little later.

According to WHOOP: “You can only manage what you measure – WHOOP helps you to understand the decisions that you have to make today, so that you can be the best possible version of yourself tomorrow.”

WHOOP says it acts as a “personalised digital fitness and health coach” by telling you what you can and should do to maintain and improve your performance.

The WHOOP 4.0 band isn’t a GPS watch. WHOOP says it’s designed to give you different data from a cycling watch or bike computer, as it’s monitoring your fitness and activity all day, off the bike as well as on, and providing structured feedback and recommendations.

How does WHOOP work?

The WHOOP app analyses your data to provide feedback on your training.
WHOOP

Optical sensors in the WHOOP 4.0 band continually record your heart rate, heart rate variation, blood oxygenation, breathing rate and skin temperature.

That data is transmitted to the WHOOP smartphone app, where it’s analysed and all the data correlated to give you information on your fitness, provide insight on your performance and give you feedback you can use to periodise your exercise and improve your performance.

You don’t have to keep WHOOP 4.0 on your wrist either, because the company sells a range of smart apparel, known as WHOOP Body, enabling you to wear the device on multiple placements across your body, as well as offering a bicep band for your upper arm.

What does WHOOP measure?

WHOOP organises your data into three core pillars: Strain, Recovery and Sleep.
WHOOP

As mentioned above, WHOOP uses the data it collects to give you information about a wide range of factors that can affect your fitness and performance, which it organises into three pillars: ‘Strain’, ‘Recovery’ and ‘Sleep’.

Strain

First up, WHOOP will give you an assessment of your strain. At its core, strain is a measure of cardiovascular load placed on your body during an individual activity or over the course of a day.

Strain is calculated based on the amount of time you spend in your heart rate zones. As the heart rate percentile range increases, so does the impact it will have on your strain score, so a one-hour interval session will, for example, carry greater weight than walking for one hour. Strain is also personalised to account for an individual’s fitness, with the score then weighted accordingly.

It’s not just workouts, with things like anxiety, work and parenting all affecting your strain score, which the app assesses on a scale from zero to 21.

WHOOP will automatically detect your activities each day and gives you a weekly activity report with a readout of your strain by day, as well as a plot of your average heart rate and an estimate of the calories burned.

WHOOP also includes a ‘Strain Coach’, which recommends a target exercise load for the day based on your recovery and lets you monitor whether your level of activity during the day is achieving your target strain level.

The goal of the Strain Coach is to help you train in tune with your body, knowing when to push and when to rest, helping you to avoid overtraining.

Recovery

WHOOP provides an insight into your recovery status and readiness to train.
WHOOP

The second pillar of WHOOP’s service is its assessment of your recovery status. It’s a personalised measure of your body’s capacity to take on activity, based on four metrics: heart rate variability, resting heart rate, respiratory rate and sleep.

WHOOP analyses your recovery status on a scale from 0 to 100% and categorises these values with a traffic-light system into three bands.

If your recovery score is between 0 and 33%, it’s rated red and WHOOP will suggest you aim to have a rest day. A yellow recovery score in the range from 34% to 66% suggests you’re ready for a moderate amount of activity, while a green recovery score of above 67% means that you’re ready for a day of peak performance.

Sleep

WHOOP’s third pillar is its monitoring and analysis of your sleep, including quality, quantity and consistency.

Sleep is one of the most important components of recovery, when your body resets ready for the next day. Good-quality sleep improves recovery, fitness and wellbeing.

WHOOP assesses the sleep you need and compares that with your actual sleep ‘performance’ each night, giving you a sleep score between 0% and 100%.

Its ‘Sleep Coach’ analyses your circadian rhythms and recommends your optimum bedtime and wake time based on its measurements of your sleep needs.

It will wake you at the best time in your sleep cycle the next morning with gentle haptic alerts via the WHOOP 4.0 band, so you’re not jolted awake as with an audible alarm clock.

While you’re asleep, WHOOP monitors your sleep cycles of deep, light and REM sleep and assesses your heart rate, breathing and heart-rate variability to help determine your baseline fitness and recovery status, and to identify trends in these over time.

Health monitoring

Alongside the core pillars, the latest addition to WHOOP’s service is its Health Monitor, designed to give you an overall assessment of your health status.

It determines baseline numbers – including blood oxygen, skin temperature and heart rate – and helps you spot improvements and variations over time. It will automatically alert you when there’s a significant deviation, and you can download and export 30- or 180-day trends.

WHOOP notes that it’s not a medical device, though, so you’ll need to consult a practitioner for a full diagnosis and assessment of any medical condition.

What can you expect from using WHOOP?

WHOOP says 81% of its members have made positive behavioural changes.
WHOOP

WHOOP has studied the actions and understanding its members have achieved from using the system. According to WHOOP, the results show 81% of its members have made positive behavioural changes, with 83% understanding better how their body operates.

WHOOP claims 89% of its members improved their understanding of their sleep needs, with an average of 41 minutes of longer sleep, better sleep quality and increased REM sleep.

The brand has identified practical benefits, too, with 31% of its members reducing the number of days they ate a late meal and 46% drinking alcohol on fewer days, based on the impact this has on the user’s metrics.

By periodising training based on stress and recovery scores, WHOOP says its members have reduced the number of sports injuries they’ve suffered due to overexertion but still achieved the same fitness gains as a control group.

How much does WHOOP cost?

You can sign up to WHOOP’s service on a monthly, annual or 24 month basis, with the WHOOP 4.0 band included as part of the membership.

In the UK and Europe, a monthly subscription with a 12-month minimum costs £27 / €30 or you can sign-up for 12 months for £264 / €300 – that’s £22 / €25 per month.

Go for a 24-month subscription and you will pay £432 / €480 up front, bringing the price down to £18 / €20 per month.

The equivalent US prices are $30 per month, $300 for 12 months or $480 for 24 months.

Membership includes 24/7 services support and access to new features, metrics and updates as soon as they go live.

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