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Weightlifting and sleep apnea!

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JRES +0 points · about 2 years ago Original Poster

Hello All,

Apologies if this has been covered but I'm seeking firsthand experience from active weightlifters (or exercise enthusiasts!) with OSA. Upon my diagnosis, my resp. therapist told me that any exercise that builds the upper chest or trapezius ("traps") will worsen my OSA. I understand building muscles around the neck will in fact do that - no disputes here. But I am curious to see if anyone else got similar advice? If so, how have you changed your routines? The trap muscles are engaged in a variety of exercises - does this mean those exercises have to go as well? Would love some perspective!

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wiredgeorge +0 points · about 2 years ago Sleep Enthusiast

Neck size is an indicator that a person may have a propensity for developing OSA but your traps certainly are not involved in the area where OSA occurs. You BMI needs to be kept in check and exercise helps with that a bunch as fat is a much larger contributor to apnea issues. I am no longer an active lifter as I have had some med issues in my old age but anything over 17" neck may contribute but that measurement isn't taken over the traps... The upper chest development and larger lung capacity means treatment will likely require higher pressures but should CAUSE OSA. My current bipap pressure is 25/21 and that is about max any machine can deliver. Smoking and drinking can also contribute but you don't sound like this is a factor in your possible therapy... just keep the BMI reasonable as any weight lifters are not big on diet and can get pretty stout... some aerobics mixed with lifting is always a great idea and also contributes to heart health. good luck.

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Sierra +0 points · about 2 years ago Sleep Patron

I try to exercise 1 hour a day, primarily cardio, and do weights about every 2 or 3 days. I have not considered that it could have any effect on the severity of my apnea. It strikes me that doing weights is unlikely to make much of a change to the throat area. Excess body fat probably does not help though.

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JRES +0 points · about 2 years ago Original Poster

Thank you both! Those were my suspicions as well. @Wiredgeorge you’re absolutely spot on about throwing some aerobics in the mix. I don’t do enough but will select some days to add it in

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