Want More Energy And A Healthier Body?
Do These Simple Deep Breathing Exercises.

There are various types of deep breathing exercises you can learn, many of them inspired by Eastern disciplines like yoga, meditation, tai chi and the martial arts. But, as with most lifestyle changes, it's easiest to start on a small scale. Before looking at one of the simplest and most effective exercises, let's take a few moments to consider the benefits.

Why Are Deep Breathing Exercises So Important?

Obviously, your need for oxygen takes precedence over every other activity, because without it, you wouldn't survive for more than 3 or 4 minutes. Oxygen serves as fuel for every cell in your body, which converts it into the energy necessary to perform its primary functions. This is true for all types of cells, whether they're part of your bones, muscles, organs, skin or brain. Without enough oxygen, a cell mutates from an oxygen-burning unit to one that ferments glucose for fuel, which can lead to all kinds of degenerative diseases, including cancer.

So What Is Deep Breathing?

Deep breathing occurs when you push downwards on your diaphragm – the large muscle at the base of your stomach – and allow your lungs to fill with air, starting at the bottom and reaching all the way to the top. Think of it like a bellows: your stomach and chest expand to make room for the air; then, as you exhale, your stomach and chest contract as you push the air out. This is often referred to as abdominal breathing or diaphragmatic breathing.

Most of us do the opposite. We suck in their stomachs as we inhale, leaving less room for air in the lungs. Or we simply lift our shoulders and only fill the top 1/3 of the lungs, taking in the bare minimum of oxygen necessary for survival. This is called shallow breathing.

Place your hand over your navel and take a moment to breathe normally. Notice what you do with your body. Are you doing deep diaphragmatic breathing or are you taking shallow breaths?

How To Do Deep Breathing

This is a simple deep breathing exercise you can do at home or anywhere where you won't be interrupted.

  1. Stand up straight with your arms by your sides.
  2. Pushing down on your diaphragm and allowing your abdomen to expand, inhale to the count of 10.
  3. Hold your breath to the count of 20.
  4. Exhale to the count of 5.
  5. Repeat 10 times.
Do the exercise twice daily, once in the morning and once in the evening.

As you inhale, you can visualize the oxygen coursing through your body and nourishing every cell. As you exhale, you can imagine your cells cleaning house by throwing off toxins and waste material, which is disposed of by your breath.

If you find it hard to visualize a cell, you can try this trick. Imagine your cells as round little cartoon characters with stick arms and legs, cheering you on as you help them get healthier.

It's your process so you can enhance it any way you want.

What If You Did Deep Breathing Exercises Every Day For A Month?

Your cells will begin to function more effectively as they take in nutrients and throw off waste products. They'll not only have more energy to work with but you will too. At the same time you'll become calmer and more productive.

Incorporate deep breathing exercises into your daily routine:
  • If you can't make time at home, you can do this exercise in the rest room at work during one of your breaks.
  • If you work at home, you can take time out when you need a break and do the exercises, either indoors or in your garden if the weather's fine.
  • If you do a daily walk, you can try including the exercises and see if that works.
  • You can do them in front of the television as long as you can maintain your concentration.
Breathing is often overlooked because it's basic – we all do it or we wouldn't be here – but there are levels of breathing and you need to learn how to breathe at the most effective one. Once you start doing deep breathing exercises on a regular basis, you'll start to notice the benefits within a very short period of time.

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It's important that you consult with a qualified health professional before embarking on any new dietary or exercise regimen.

Gathering information online is fine for research purposes, but you need a real live professional to monitor your progress if you attempt to make drastic changes to your lifestyle. Unless you're a health professional yourself, you aren't equipped to objectively observe your body's responses to a new diet or exercise program. So whatever your chosen course of action, please be sure you enlist the support of a qualified professional.

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