Breathing Techniques and Your Health
Wouldn’t it be awesome if a few simple breathing techniques could equal improved fitness? Check out these 5 top breathing techniques for doing exactly that – check it out!
Try these breathing techniques
Who would have guessed that an involuntary action like breathing can help us become fit?
While regular exercising and a proper diet are the best way to lose weight and keep fit, breathing, techniques can also offer these same benefits. Breathing techniques are a great alternative for those who aren’t able to practice vigorous exercising daily.
Breathing exercises were developed from pranayama techniques which are a part of most yoga practices. These exercises help in improving oxygen levels in your blood which can help speed up digestion.
They may also help strengthen your abdominal muscles. Breathing exercises are easy to do and can help boost your energy levels which you need to stay fit. Take a look at these 5 breathing exercises and learn how they can help you in your daily fitness.
1. Deep breathing
The basic pranayama exercise, deep breathing helps you stay fit for a variety of reasons.
First of all, deep breathing boosts your oxygen levels which are important for proper digestion. Secondly, deep breathing helps in keeping stress levels low, and we know how stress can negatively impact the metabolism and lead to weight gain.
To start this exercise, sit comfortably with your legs crossed and your back supported against a surface. Close your eyes and concentrate on your breathing. Take a slow deep breath through your nose and pause for a second, and then breathe out slowly through your nose.
Do this for as long as you feel comfortable. This breathing exercise is a common part of meditation practices and is great for keeping stress at bay. Reduced levels of stress can help balance your hormones and metabolism.
2. Diaphragm breathing
A lot of people breathe with the top of their chest when working out, but any fitness expert will advise you to use your diaphragm when breathing. Chest breathing causes unnecessary strain in your shoulder, chest, and neck area. Diaphragm breathing is a more natural way to take deep breaths.
To start this practice, lie on the floor with your knees bent. Place your hands on your stomach. Concentrate on your breathing using the diaphragm instead of your chest. Feel your abdomen rising as you breathe in. Breathe out by letting the diaphragm relax naturally instead of forcing air out.
Practicing this breathing technique daily for a couple of minutes will help strengthen your diaphragm muscles. After some time, you may notice your breathing becoming naturally deeper with no effort whatsoever.
3. Blowing out candles
This is a great breathing exercise that involves your abdominal muscles. To practice this breathing technique, you have to do short and forceful exhales that make your abs move from a neutral position to a concave one.
To practice this breathing technique, inhale as usual and exhale as if you were blowing out some candles and also let the air hit the back of your teeth to make the exhale more forceful. This exercise is great for toning your abdominal muscles which you can feel working as you breathe out.
You’d be surprised how this breathing technique helps fight off common health problems that are caused by stress and metabolic imbalances.
4. Stomach vacuum
The goal of this exercise is to exhale as much air as possible out of your lungs. Start the exercise by placing your palms and knees on the ground. Inhale and curve your spine towards the ground. While you exhale, lift your spine upwards and your belly inwards. Expand your lungs like you are breathing in while you are expelling the air out.
The exercise might seem complex to do at first but with practice, you’ll be able to master it in no time. Also, if you have digestive issues be cautious with this exercise. When you return to your beginning position, do so slowly to avoid straining your abdominal muscles.
This exercise is fantastic for building core strength.
5. Stimulating breathing
This exercise helps stimulate your senses and is a great technique for relaxing. The breathing technique is recommended by Andrew Weil, M.D, a pioneer in integrative medicine.
This exercise helps raise your activity levels which will make you fitter and help increase your body’s strength.
Sit on a chair with your back straight, keep your mouth closed but relaxed. Inhale and exhale rapidly through your nose. The breaths should be equal in length and keep in mind that this is a noisy exercise, so if you are making a lot of noise, it just means you’re doing it right.
You can try to do three breaths a second for as much as you can. In between each breathing cycle, breathe normally. When you begin this exercise, you should practice it for around 15 seconds and after some time, you’ll be able to practice it for a full minute.
You should feel more alert and invigorated after this exercise so you’ll have more energy to help you keep fit.
Adopting a proper breathing technique during a workout is important to get maximum efficiency.
But breathing exercises alone can help us feel fit and healthy. These breathing techniques require only your time and a pair of lungs to be practiced. The benefits of these exercises are increased oxygen levels that help boost your metabolism and aid in maintaining hormonal balance.
Other benefits are better abdominal muscle strengths and a stronger diaphragm.