Don't Take My Breath Away: 10 Sports That Can Improve Your Asthma Condition | The Health Sessions

Don’t Take My Breath Away: 10 Sports That Can Improve Your Asthma Condition

This article is written by Hannah Belger. 

Sometimes it feels like exercising and asthma are a match made in hell. Although working out can trigger shortness of breath or other symptoms, having asthma doesn’t have to keep you on the bench. In fact, some Olympic athletes have this condition and still manage to take the medals home.

If you have asthma, you can successfully exercise with proper guidance and treatment, and even benefit from the physical activity. Although there are no sports that should be off limits to people suffering from asthma, there are some activities that will probably trigger asthma symptoms because you have to be active for a long time. These include soccer, cross-country skiing, and ice hockey. On the other hand, there are those that can have a positive impact on your health and help you stay in shape.

Here is a list of activities you could include in your daily routine without worrying you will run out of breath.

Read more >Don’t Take My Breath Away: 10 Sports That Can Improve Your Asthma Condition



12 Uplifting Quotes about True Happiness | The Health Sessions

12 Uplifting Quotes about True Happiness

We all want to be happy. And understandably so. Happiness doesn’t just feel good, it also protects your physical and mental health and lengthens your life.

But our modern-day fixation on happiness has some downsides. When you expect to wake up with a smile every day, it can be hard to deal with the sadness and anxiety you’ll inevitably feel. Accepting negative emotions as a normal part of life may actually protect you from developing depressive symptoms. What’s more, because there’s so much focus on what you yourself can do to feel happier, our positivity culture puts a lot of responsibility on a person’s shoulders. If you aren’t jumping for joy, you must be doing something wrong.

One of the reasons why we struggle with the pursuit of happiness, is the way we define being happy.

What does ‘happiness’ mean to you?

Happiness can mean a lot of different things to different people. In the English language and positive psychology field, ‘happiness’ can refer to:

  • fleeting emotions of joy, excitement and pleasure;
  • a collection of multiple positive emotions over time;
  • a global assessment of your life satisfaction.

You’ve probably read plenty of headlines about “20 ways to feel happier instantly” in the past few years. And although it’s important to learn how you can cultivate more positive emotions like hope, joy and awe, we pay a lot of attention to our day-to-day fluctuations in happiness. But being cheerful all the time under tough circumstances like chronic illness, financial problems and relationship troubles is hard – and arguably not that healthy.

What if we’d focus more on happiness as an overall, long-term sense of contentment? Instead of being triggered by outside events or momentary thoughts, true happiness would be more about how satisfied you are with your life most of the time. Not that you should be happy-go-lucky every day, but that you experience an enduring appreciation of your family and friends, career or life-as-a-whole.

To ponder what true happiness means to you, take a look at these 12 uplifting happiness quotes.

Read more >12 Uplifting Quotes about True Happiness



'Sick Lit': 6 Captivating Novels Starring Chronically Ill Characters | The Health Sessions

‘Sick Lit’: 6 Captivating Novels Starring Chronically Ill Characters

Great stories remind us that we are not alone. Despite our differences, we all have similar struggles, fears, dreams and hopes. By identifying with a book’s character, we can see our own situation from another point of view and discover new ways to deal with our problems.

But what if you have a hard time finding fictional figures you can relate with?

‘Sick lit’ is the somewhat questionable name for a new genre of novels, featuring characters who are faced with illness. Following John Green’s blockbuster book The Fault in Our Stars, lots of gripping stories about terminally ill teenagers and their tragic romances have hit the book shops and movie theaters.

However, there haven’t been many novels written that put living with chronic illness in the spotlight. Maybe that shouldn’t be surprising, because let’s face it, being chronically ill is kinda boring. Instead of going on ‘before-I-die’ adventures, life with MS, chronic migraine or Lyme disease feels more like an endless repetition of doctor’s visits, therapy and sick days in bed.

Fortunately, the sick lit below shows a glimpse of what it’s like to be diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, HIV and osteogenesis imperfecta. And although they’re mostly young adult novels, the older ones among us can still relate to the medical dilemmas, everyday problems and existential questions that the protagonists struggle with.

So if you’re looking for a relatable read, check out these 6 captivating novels that star chronically ill characters. 

Read more >‘Sick Lit’: 6 Captivating Novels Starring Chronically Ill Characters



What to Do After Receiving a Cancer Diagnosis | The Health Sessions

What to Do after Receiving a Cancer Diagnosis

This article has been written by dr. Garvita Arora for CancerBro.

Being diagnosed with cancer has a major impact on the person’s life rigorously affecting their everyday routine, lifestyle, work and emotions. More than 24 million people have received a diagnosis of cancer over the past 5 years worldwide with more than 40% reporting of challenges in accomplishing some of their daily activities. While there is not a definite answer to what you must certainly do after receiving a diagnosis, this article will show you ways to cope with your physical and emotional health after receiving a cancer diagnosis.

Having cancer puts you at the edge of asking questions about the prognosis of cancer, how serious your cancer is, in how long will you be cured and will you be treated at all. It is normal to ask all these sorts of questions from your physician and oncologist in order to gain clarity about your diagnosis. Feel free to ask as many questions from your cancer group and understand what kind of treatment is the best suited for you.

Enquire about your treatment options and also about the side effects, because they are very likely to occur. Being aware of the side effects of your treatment at the earliest stage will help you in taking protective measures at the earliest. Ask your doctor how severe your side effects could be and how you should manage them. Also ask how your diagnosis is expected to affect your daily lifestyle: can you regularly go to work and have a routine social life? It’s important to seek your doctor’s advice for the management of your condition.

Read more >What to Do after Receiving a Cancer Diagnosis



How to Sleep Well with a Chronic Illness | The Health Sessions

How to Sleep Well with a Chronic Illness

This article is written by Danielle B Roberts. 

According to the National Health Council, 157 million Americans will be living with at least one chronic illness. An illness is considered to be chronic if the duration is three months or longer. Some examples of common chronic illnesses are diabetes, heart disease, endometriosis, lupus, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis.

Due to the pain and restlessness caused by chronic illnesses, many people who have a chronic illness also suffer from insomnia. About 60 million Americans suffer from insomnia. Insomnia too can be a chronic condition.

You are considered to have insomnia if you have or do any of the following:

  • Difficulty falling asleep
  • Coming in and out of sleep in the middle of the night
  • Waking up earlier than expected
  • Fatigue during the day
  • The feeling of being unrefreshed when you wake up
  • Difficulty focusing and remembering

These are just a few of the symptoms one can experience from insomnia. Insomnia can bring on its own battles as well. Insomnia can cause you to have anxiety, depression, mood swings, and more. If you have a chronic illness, here are some things to try to help your insomnia.

Read more >How to Sleep Well with a Chronic Illness