If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, chances are that you have been recommended urgent weight loss. Body weight and sleep apnea are intricately related and without weight loss, no treatment for this distressful sleep disorder can be effective. Over and above doing physical workouts and controlling your diet, you would also be advised to do sleep apnea exercises if you wish to hasten the treatment process.
These exercises offer excellent adjunct therapy alongside the mainline exercise programs that the apnea patient is going to undertake for weight loss.
Obesity is usually associated with excess weight on the stomach, abdomen, etc. But did you know that the cause of recurrent breathlessness in sleep apnea is due to fat accumulation in the muscles directly responsible for breathing? Without reducing such fat, it is impossible to get relief from the distressful symptoms of the disorder.
What is the underlying principle behind such exercises?
When excess fat accumulates in the breathing muscles located in the throat, neck, tongue and jaws, it makes them weak and flaccid. They are then likely to collapse during sleep and block the normal airflow. This is the main reason for breathlessness in sleep apnea. Practicing these special exercises is the only way obesity can be managed in this critical muscle zone.
The good news is that it does not take much effort or time to do these exercises. In fact, they can easily be included in the mainline exercising program and can be done alongside jogging, walking or any other weight loss measure that the patient is taking.
Different types of exercises exist designed exclusively for different types of breathing muscles. For example throat exercises for sleep apnea mainly focuses on the vocal cord and tones and strengthens the other muscles of the throat area.
However, one should not expect miraculous results. Such exercises cannot cure the condition, but can only act as able adjunctive therapy. One can see visible improvement only when the exercises are done according to instructions regularly for about 3 months at a stretch.
What are the benefits?
The main aim of these exercises is to tone and strengthen the otolaryngologic muscles (belonging to throat, nose and mouth) as these muscles can actually block the air passage if they become weak.
No matter how effective they are, they should only be done after consulting the doctor. He or she is the best judge in deciding which breathing muscles need toning and strengthening. The exercises are also recommended based on the cause, severity and symptoms experienced by the patient. The exercise for the throat for example is recommended only when the lax muscles of the upper throat need toning and the condition is between mild and moderate.
Though this may sound surprising, but singing is one of the most effective exercises for the throat muscles. Singing a set of specific tones and sounds can impact the soft palate, palatopharyngeal arch, nasopharynx and tongue positively
Vocal cords, the strongest muscles in the throat also get adequately toned by doing these special exercises for the throat. One can expect significant relief from distressful sleep apnea symptoms if one can diligently practice such sleep apnea exercises but only when the doctor permits.