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Breathing Exercises Benefit not Only Your Lungs but Entire Body
- Breathing directly effects the quality and quantity of oxygen that circulates around our bodies through the blood.
- Breathing exercises are a simple way to improve your breathing, and therefore your overall health.
Breathing Exercises Benefit Not Only Your Lungs But Entire Body
Breathing directly effects the quality and quantity of oxygen that circulates around our bodies through the blood. Oxygen levels in the blood may fall by around 20% due to the aging process and normal breathing habits. Reduced oxygen caused by poor breathing can lead to decreased mental alertness and reduced energy levels. Poor breathing may also lead to stiffness in the muscles surrounding the rib cage as inhalation becomes harder. This can be caused by a lack of elasticity in the breathing muscles which can cause stale air to remain in the lungs, preventing fresh oxygen from entering the blood stream.
Poor breathing may also lead to or be caused by raid shallow breathing. This can also be caused by poor posture. Poor oxygen supply can lead to other serious complications such as heart disease and respiratory disease.
These breathing exercises are a simple way to improve your breathing, and therefore your overall health. They will exercise your breathing muscles, help to cleanse the lungs and are also an ideal way to release tension and stress.
Practice this breathing exercise for 5 minutes:
1. Lie on the floor, flat on your back. Use pillows to support under your neck and knees. Close your eyes and get a sense of deep breathing. Notice how your breathing causes a natural rise and fall in the stomach.
2. Put your hands on your stomach just at the base of your rib cage with the fingers of each hand barely touching one another – your lungs extend to around this point where the diaphragm is located. Take a slow, deep breath so that your middle rises, separating your fingers. This happens as your diaphragm expands and contracts in order to allow the lungs to fill and empty. As they do so, oxygen enters the blood stream on inhalation, and as you exhale, CO2 and other waste products from the blood stream are exhaled.
3. The movement of the diaphragm which causes your fingers to part indicates that the lungs are fully filling, rather than a partial filling of the lungs often known as “chest breathing”. Chest breathing fills the upper and middle parts of the lungs only, whereas “belly breathing” allows a greater volume of air to be circulated. Small children use this method instinctively until their chest develops and matures.
Complete Breath Exercise
Again practice this drill for 5 minutes.
1. Sit up straight with good posture and exhale.
2. As you inhale, try to relax your belly muscles. Complete a full inhalation and feel the sensation which might feel as though your belly is filling with air.
3. After your belly seems to be full, continue to inhale filling up the middle and upper parts of your chest. You will feel your rib cage expand as your lungs continue to fill.
4. Hold your breath for a brief moment and then begin your exhalation as slowly as you can.
5. As you exhale, and the air escapes, relax your chest. You can then begin to pull in your belly in order to force out the remaining air in the lungs.
6. As you carry out this exercise, concentrate on your breathing, feel and listen as the air enters and exits your lungs. Try to relax and allow the tension in your facial muscles to release.
These simple exercises or methods of breathing will help you develop better breathing which can have a very positive effect on your overall health. Practice them every day for the best results and you will feel the benefits not only to your breathing, but to your sense of well being.
The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.
|Body Mind Spirit Natural Health Care2 Jan 2009|