Did you know the air we breathe is about 21% oxygen? For many years now, exercising with oxygen treatment (EWOT) has been a key element to any pro athlete’s exercise routine. However, the benefits of this therapy are becoming a standard addition for patients who suffer from respiratory or pulmonary illnesses, as well as the general public. As one of the only EWOT providers in Chicago (link TBD), this is a therapy we are excited to offer our patients!
But what is EWOT? Keep reading to learn the benefits of exercising with oxygen treatment!
Oxygen is Critical For Exercise
The O2 Breakdown
During exercise, the body uses a greater amount of oxygen than when at rest. This means the body requires O2 replenishment at a much faster rate. In response to reduced oxygen levels, the body’s heart rate and breathing will naturally increase in order to transport more oxygen to the lungs and working muscles. This is necessary for a variety of reasons, including:
- Athletic Performance
- Muscle Recovery
- Improved Circulation
- Enhanced Brain Function
The Setbacks for Reduced Oxygen Levels
If you suffer from a chronic illness, or a respiratory or pulmonary disease, your body’s ability to absorb oxygen diminishes greatly during exercise. Another issue that can arise as a result is the inability to reduce a natural process called the Inflammatory Response. This is when your body’s capillaries expand with inflammatory cells during physical stress, or extreme mental stress (e.g., PTSD). Long-term issues that may arise due to reduced oxygen levels include:
- Hypoxemia (shortness of breath)
- Other respiratory issues
A study done by the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in 2019 even linked reduced levels of oxygen to cancer growth. For these reasons, increased oxygen levels are extremely beneficial in protecting the body during exercise!
What is EWOT?
What if you could receive more oxygen during a workout? This is possible with EWOT! When exercising with EWOT, oxygen is more easily saturated into the body’s blood plasma and red blood cells. For persons who have a harder time receiving oxygen due to respiratory or pulmonary illness, this means that purified oxygen is carried directly to the capillaries and deep tissues of the body immediately.
How Does EWOT Work?
To begin with, exercising with oxygen treatment (EWOT) can be done in conjunction with a variety of training methods, like running on the treadmill or cycling on a stationary bike. Unlike an outpatient or stationary oxygen treatment (e.g. Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy), EWOT is done through the use of an oxygen concentrator which generates a continuous supply of purified oxygen during exercise. The oxygen is contained in a bag connected to a mask that delivers increased oxygen supply to the body throughout the duration of the exercise.
The Benefits of EWOT
The benefits of EWOT are constantly growing, thanks to ongoing research. Studies have shown just how beneficial oxygen is to the body as a whole, and utilizing EWOT can only increase those benefits, including a possible 20% increase in strength and a possible increase in weight loss by 20%. Some EWOT benefits include:
A Better Immune System
With better circulation comes a healthier immune system! Because EWOT provides a steady source of oxygen to the blood, the body is able to transport essential nutrients, blood platelets and blood cells more efficiently. This creates better circulation.
Did you know? Blood cell circulation is essential for helping the body fight off infection, while platelets repair damage in the body through blood clotting!
According to a study in 2015, aging is predominantly characterized by a reduced supply of oxygen in the bloodstream, a.k.a., Hypoxia. This is not to say that your skin will wrinkle faster! Instead, Hypoxia has been proven to contribute to cellular aging and functional decline, e.g., Alzeheimers and other neurodegenerative disorders.
Studies have shown that improved oxygen levels may contribute to reversing the aging process! If your main focus is healthy brain function, EWOT can help boost oxygen levels and prevent Hypoxia.
You’re probably familiar with the term, “lactic acid”. Lactic Acid is created in the body when there is a reduction in oxygen due to exercise or stress. Oxygen is necessary to create energy. Without it, lactic acid builds, resulting in muscle fatigue.
Skip the cramping and muscle pain from lactic acid with EWOT! The higher oxygen rates from EWOT can help reduce fatigue and boost muscle recovery rate.
Of course, an increase in oxygen levels with or without exercise is always helpful for circulation! Fatigue, cramps, cold hands and feet —these are all signs of reduced oxygen levels! EWOT helps the body to strengthen and improve circulation during and after a workout.
While this may be last on our list, it’s certainly one of our favorite benefits! Sleep is essential for physical and mental performance overall. A study done by the University of Alberta in 2018 found that intaking higher levels of oxygen may lead to a more restorative sleep, which can assist with your body’s overall performance. And who doesn’t want better sleep?
Exercise with Oxygen Treatment – Dr. Daniel Jacobazzi
Are you ready to add oxygen treatment to your exercise routine? As one of the only offices to offer EWOT in Chicago, we are excited to offer this therapy to our patients! As a licensed professional, Dr. Jacobazzi also completed his Master’s Degree in Physical Therapy and is the sole provider in the State of Illinois to hold licenses in both physical therapy and chiropractic. Dr. Daniel Jacobazzi and his professional staff look forward to guiding you towards a healthier and happier self!
Are you ready to invest in your health? Contact PhyxMe Physical Therapy to get started!