If you want to have a healthy body, doing your exercises every day would be very helpful. You can do running, jogging, playing sports, dancing, gardening, and many more. For some people, they even enrolled themselves to yoga classes or gym for workouts. Nonetheless, the list goes on for this kind of activities.
In this section, we are going to explore all about breathing exercises. This kind of exercise is probably one of the easiest forms of exercise. It is so simple to do and there are a lot of benefits that can be derived from it. That includes better performance on exercises which are physically demanding.
How to Do Some Breathing Exercises
There are different ways on how to do breathing exercises. Andrew Weil M.D of drweil.com has provided three easy breathing exercises. He said, these breathing exercises could also “help relax and reduce anxiety”.
Breathing Exercise #1 The Bellows (or Stimulating) Breath
How to do it:
1. Inhale and exhale rapidly through your nose, keeping your mouth closed but relaxed. Your breaths in and out should be equal in duration, but as short as possible. This is a noisy breathing exercise.
2. Try for three in-and-out breath cycles per second. This produces a quick movement of the diaphragm, suggesting a bellows. Breathe normally after each cycle.
3. Do not do for more than 15 seconds on your first try. Each time you practice the Stimulating Breath, you can increase your time by five seconds or so, until you reach a full minute.
“If done properly, you may feel invigorated, comparable to the heightened awareness you feel after a good workout. You should feel the effort at the back of the neck, the diaphragm, the chest and the abdomen. Try this breathing exercise the next time you need an energy boost and feel yourself reaching for a cup of coffee.”
Breathing Exercise #2 The 4-7-8 (or Relaxing Breath) Exercise
How to do it:
“Although you can do the exercise in any position, sit with your back straight while learning the exercise. Place the tip of your tongue against the ridge of tissue just behind your upper front teeth, and keep it there through the entire exercise. You will be exhaling through your mouth around your tongue; try pursing your lips slightly if this seems awkward.”
1. Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound.
2. Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four.
3. Hold your breath for a count of seven.
4. Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound to a count of eight.
5. This is one breath. Now inhale again and repeat the cycle three more times for a total of four breaths.
“This exercise is a natural tranquilizer for the nervous system. Unlike tranquilizing drugs, which are often effective when you first take them but then lose their power over time, this exercise is subtle when you first try it but gains in power with repetition and practice. Do it at least twice a day. You cannot do it too frequently…
… It will be a very useful tool that you will always have with you. Use it whenever anything upsetting happens – before you react. Use it whenever you are aware of internal tension. Use it to help you fall asleep. “
Breathing Exercise #3 The Breath Counting
How to do it:
“Sit in a comfortable position with the spine straight and head inclined slightly forward. Gently close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Then let the breath come naturally without trying to influence it. Ideally it will be quiet and slow, but depth and rhythm may vary.”
1. To begin the exercise, count “one” to yourself as you exhale.
2. The next time you exhale, count “two,” and so on up to “five”.
3. Then begin a new cycle, counting “one” on the next exhalation.
“Never count higher than “five,” and count only when you exhale. You will know your attention has wandered when you find yourself up to “eight,” “12,” even “19.” Try to do 10 minutes of this form of meditation.”
These exercises that we have mentioned above are included in Zen and Yoga breathing exercises. Imagery and meditation also includes a lot of these exercises. So, if you enrolled yourself in one of the classes that were previously mentioned, you will surely learn these techniques.
Aside from breathing exercises for stress, don’t you know that there are also breathing exercises for running? Yes, these exercises can make a great combination with physical exercises. It will help you execute proper movements and efficiency for a certain exercise. These are made up of breathing techniques like breathing through the mouth, breathing from the belly, making short and shallow breaths, and breathing in rhythm. Check out how to do these by visiting Fitday.com.
These relaxation techniques must be incorporated in your daily life so that the effect will be maximized. Helpguide.org has provided some tips in fitting these techniques in your life.
• If possible, schedule a set time to practice each day.
• Practice relaxation techniques while you’re doing other things.
• If you exercise, improve the relaxation benefits by adopting mindfulness.
• Avoid practicing when you’re sleepy.
• Expect ups and downs.
Most of the deep breathing exercises are made in order to reduce stress and anxiety; that is why exercises like these are highly recommended for you to do. Nonetheless, it is also really helpful for physical exercises. Health benefits include lowering of blood pressure, slowing a fast heart rate, helping with digestion and many more. Breathing exercises are scientifically proven to help us cope with stress, so if ever you feel like you cannot keep up with everyday life, just remember these breathing techniques you’ve learned.