There’s no denying the obvious: when you feel tired, it’s difficult to find the motivation to participate in moderate or rigorous exercise. Extreme fatigue can leave you feeling like you don’t want to do anything even remotely active.
Unfortunately, those who suffer from sleep apnea often experience fatigue that keeps them from participating in regular physical activity. Daytime sleepiness causes those with untreated sleep apnea to often fall asleep while at work or watching TV, to say nothing of decreasing their motivation for healthy exercise.
A lack of exercise puts sleep apnea patients at even greater risk for serious health complications like obesity and type 2 diabetes. Fortunately, new research indicates that CPAP therapy can give you the energy you need to maintain a more healthy and active lifestyle.
CPAP and Physical Activity
The latest findings showing the benefits of CPAP come from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, which conducted a study over a period of nearly four years observing the impact that CPAP therapy had on patients’ levels of moderate physical activity.
Over the course of the study, those who used CPAP treatment were about 20 percent more physically active than the control group that did not use CPAP. In addition, the CPAP users were more likely to follow expert recommendations for staying physically active.
In a news release, study co-author Kelly Loftier explained, “We were pleased to find that our CPAP users reported that they were better able to maintain their levels of activity over the four years of the study, and that they reported fewer limitations in moderate and vigorous activities including those that are important for independent aging, like walking up the stairs.”
As this insight reveals, using a CPAP machine didn’t just help those who wanted to get more out of their next trip to the gym. It also played a role in everyday physical activities that can become difficult when suffering from fatigue or breathing problems.
What makes the difference? By keeping your airways open with pressurized air throughout the night, using a CPAP machine helps you avoid the frequent sleep interruptions that result from obstructive sleep apnea. This allows your body to enter deep sleep, during which the body detoxifies, heals muscles, and performs other important tasks. Entering deep sleep is what ultimately allows you to feel rested and energized in the morning.
How to Get Into the Habit of Exercise
While using a CPAP machine is a great step toward having more physical energy, it isn’t going to turn you into a fitness guru on its own. Increasing your levels of physical activity is a gradual process that takes time and persistent effort. A deliberate approach to exercise will allow you to increase physical strength and endurance, which may have declined as a result of untreated sleep apnea.
Those who are very out of shape should begin gradually. For example, you could start by going on a walk around the neighborhood before working your way up to more vigorous activities like jogging or biking. You may benefit from consulting with your doctor before you start exercising. Based on your unique needs, your doctor can help you come up with an individualized fitness plan so you don’t try to do too much too soon.
Be realistic with your expectations. Reaching fitness or weigh loss goals is a process that won’t happen overnight. Practice self-compassion and celebrate the progress that you are making so you don’t lose motivation.
Here are a few other ideas to make exercise part of your normal routine:
- If you have a busy schedule, try to fit in a few 10 to 15 minute exercise breaks throughout the day. This can be just as effective as a full-hour workout.
- Stretching before you work out will warm up your muscles and reduce risk of injury. Likewise, walking or stretching as a cool down will help you avoid soreness and injury after a workout.
- Set a reminder — like an alarm on your phone — so you don’t forget to make time for exercise each day. A consistent exercise schedule will help you turn this into a habit.
- Choose activities that you enjoy! This makes it much easier to stay motivated and have a good time while exercising.
- Accountability partners can help you stay on track. Even something as simple as having a workout buddy to go to the gym with you will make you more likely to stick with your scheduled exercise routine.
Start Living Healthy With a CPAP Machine
You don’t have to let sleep apnea dictate what you can and can’t do. By using a CPAP machine to treat your obstructive sleep apnea, you can have more energy for living an active lifestyle. Whether you want to get fit or simply wish to continue participating in your favorite recreational activities, better sleep will make a bigger difference than you might expect.
Of course, getting quality sleep can seem a long ways off when you don’t have adequate insurance coverage for your CPAP equipment. This is where Help Medical Supplies comes in. We offer a wide range of CPAP machines and bundles from top brands like ResMed and Philips Respironics, many at significantly discounted prices. Available financing and free shipping on orders over $89 give you the flexibility needed to keep this important equipment from becoming a financial burden.
If you have a valid prescription, you can get the CPAP machine you need for quality sleep. A return to a physically active life is closer than you think.