We all breathe RIGHT? Yes, but are we taking the full benefits of breath. Every system in the body relies on oxygen. From cognition to digestion, effective breathing can also provide a sense of mental clarity, can help you sleep better, digest food more efficiently, improve the immune system, and reduce stress. Are you breathing properly?
Here are some tricks to know:
Lie down and put an object on your belly. When you breathe, is the object moving up and down? If it is, great! You are using your diaphragm for every breath. The diaphragm is what pushes the belly in and out…that is why deep breathing is sometimes called belly breath.
Practice Breathing Deeply: Keep the object on your belly, as you inhale, push it up toward the ceiling. Inhale for two seconds, hold your breath for one second, then exhale for two seconds. When you exhale imagine you are blowing out birthday candles—like you are trying to get every last bit of air out of your lungs. When you can easily do the two-second inhale and exhale, increase to three seconds.
Build lung strength: If interested in increasing your lung capacity, find a straw, and try this…it is called straw breath. Start by taking a normal inhale, then place the straw at your lips and exhale so the air goes through the straw. When you are almost down with the exhale, move the straw away from your mouth, close your lips and blow the rest of the air through your nose. Take two inhales and exhales without the straw, then repeat.