Health

Shortness of Breath Myths and Misconceptions

Experts in shortness of breath – Midwood at New York Medical and Vascular Care assert that the condition can be life-threatening. Also referred to as dyspnea, shortness of breath results from several causes, including aerobic exercises, high altitudes, anxiety, and intense physical activities. While some cases might need surgical intervention, others require physical activities to help strengthen a patient’s respiratory mechanism. Unfortunately, exercise myths and misconceptions prevent most patients from attaining strength for the responsible muscles and body systems. The myths and misconceptions you are likely to hear include:  

  • If you find running challenging, sit

A significant percentage of individuals believe that exercising cannot be beneficial until one attains an arbitrary training fitness level. Though the myth sounds factual, it can result in undertraining or overtraining. While some patients might try excusing themselves because they are too weak, too sick, or out of shape to exercise, others might engage in unrealistic goals to define fitness. Your healthcare provider might advise you to think of yourself as healthy as you can be.

If an exercise is unbearable, avoid it

It is common for individuals to avoid things that seem uncomfortable. The myth is understandable because intolerable situations can be painful and dreading. For instance, patients with shortness of breath might complain of the high levels of exertion, especially when it comes to climbing stairs or the subway steps because they are steep, and opt for an easier and more efficient alternative. Unfortunately, when you stop pushing, the muscles performing the strenuous activity weaken and become less efficient. No matter how painful the action might seem, avoid eliminating it unless your physician tells you otherwise.    

Individuals with musculoskeletal health concerns should not get on the treadmill

Most people will advise you against doing the treadmill, especially no incline. Instead, the myth sayers will tell you to go for the recumbent bike because of the support it offers or the elliptical due to the less impact it gives. However, one of the principles of exercising is that your system gets used to what you subject it to. If you keep telling yourself that the shortness of breath might worsen if you do the treadmill and opt to sit on a recliner seat, enjoying a plate of fries, that is what your body might get used to. However, if you walk daily or do the treadmill, you will be helping your respiratory mechanics, allowing you to elevate your rib cage, encouraging you to inhale deeper breaths.   

You cannot gain without hurting

Though the myth has some element of truth, it does not auger perfectly with exercising. Pain serves a significant purpose in fitness activities. It is an indication that you might be pushing yourself too far, are hurt, or are about to cause self-harm. However, there is a difference between warning pain and fatigue or discomfort. While pushing yourself to overcome muscular discomfort because of deconditioning is okay, actual pain might be communicating something more than fatigue. 

Myths will give you a perfect alibi for why you should not engage in an activity that might help alleviate your frustrating symptoms. However, talk to your physician to know the exercises that might help with shortness of breath.     

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