What to learn a good deep breathing exercise? Continue reading this article and discover a fantastic deep breathing exercise and 10 health benefits of deep breathing. But first.
Given the times we are living in, we need to keep our lungs strong and healthy. Valuable information is empowering. We hope that this article where we show you a simple deep breathing exercise will also help you out. Before we continue with the deep breathing exercise, I want to answer a couple of questions. Namely, what deep breathing is and the numerous health benefits of deep breathing for your mind and body.
What is Deep Breathing?
In medical terms, deep breathing is called diaphragmatic breathing. The reason is that deep breathing engages the diaphragm. This is a muscle located at the bottom of the rib cage, right below the lungs. When we breathe in, the diaphragm lowers allowing for the lungs to be filled with air. And then when we breathe out, the diaphragm comes right back up, rushing the carbon dioxide out from the lungs.
When we are born, we naturally breathe deeply.
That is, we engage the lower parts of our lungs in the breathing process. You can witness deep breathing in babies. When they inhale, their lungs are filled with air from the bottom up. Thus, the abdominal area expands. Singers and runners are quite familiar with deep breathing. This breathing technique increases endurance, and resistance, and is directly involved in sustaining musical notes when singing. Thus, if you want to become a great singer or a marathon runner, you must develop a good deep breathing technique. And this comes with practicing a deep breathing exercise.
10 Health Benefits of Deep Breathing Exercises
In addition to improving our running and singing performance, deep breathing has numerous health effects. These are the most notable effects of deep breathing:
- Body detox – breathing at the cell level is directly involved in flushing out toxins from the body
- Weight management – deep breathing helps cells burn fat faster and relieve emotional stress linked to overeating.
- Chronic pain – deep breathing releases endorphins, that have a natural analgesic effect on chronic pains.
- Correct posture – when you learn to breathe deeply, the spine automatically corrects its position. A bad posture does not allow for air to reach deep down into the lungs. Traditional Chinese medicine believes there are energetic canals alongside the spine. When our posture is not straight, these canals are perturbed which affects the good functioning of our organs.
- Lymphatic circulation – deep breathing exercises also aid in the good circulation of the lymph. Consequently, deep breathing helps drain the lymph and detox the lymphatic system too.
- Boost immunity – by stimulating the lymph node system, deep breathing also boosts the immune system.
- Heart – deep breathing sustains heart health by increasing blood flow and improving cardiovascular capability.
- Better sleep – proper cell oxygenation helps regulate sleep disorders and thus makes us stronger against viruses and bacteria.
- Better digestion – deep breathing increases the blood flow of the internal organs, including the digestive tract. It also induces a relaxation state, ideal for the good functioning of the digestive system.
- Relaxation – deep breathing exercises are the ultimate mind and body relaxation. Deep breathing has been proven to lower stress hormones, and free radicals, making our mind and body stronger against illnesses.
Deep Breathing Exercise – Learn How to Breathe Deeply
To enjoy the health benefits mentioned above and enjoy a healthier, happier you, follow the deep breathing exercise below. Repeat the exercise daily, until you being to naturally breathe more profoundly. Soon enough, you will be able to control your breathing and reap all the health benefits that come with deep, diaphragmatic breathing.
Let’s get into the exercise.
- Lay down on your back, on a harder mattress, or on your yoga mat.
- Flex your knees slightly (you can place a pillow under your knees so that your body and abdomen can fully relax).
- Place one hand on your chest and the other one on your abdomen, right below the belly button.
- Inhale as slowly as you can through the nose.
- Make sure that only the hand on your abdomen moves up when inhaling, while the hand on your chest stays still.
- When your abdomen has risen to the maximum, start slowly exhaling through the mouth this time.
- Again, make sure the hand on your chest remains still, while the hand on the abdomen slowly goes down, as the air from the bottom of your lungs comes out.
Tip! The most important part of the exercise is to keep your chest area still so you allow the lower parts of the lungs to inflate with air and deflate. After doing the exercise enough times, you will see that you breathe deeply on a daily basis, naturally.
A Deep Breathing Exercise with a Twist
After you have been doing the deep breathing exercise for a while, you can also make a pause between the inhale and exhale. Hold your breath for an equal amount of time as the inhale and exhale. For instance, if you count to 5 on your inhale, hold your breath for another count to 5 and then exhale again, on a count to five, 15 counts in total.
You can also do some visualizations during the exercise. Envision a radiant white healing light coming in when you inhale, and all the negative, dark energy bursting out on the exhale. This visualization is very healing for the mind and body.
Read Also: 3 Effective Breathing Exercises for COPD
See how this deep breathing helps your physical endurance while jogging, swimming, or doing other intense physical exercises. Also, see how deep breathing has helped your singing. Most likely you will see that breathing deeply allows you to hit and sustain the notes more effortlessly.
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