We hear all sorts of things about food and health, but little is said on how breathing right or wrong can impact our life. Deep breathing is essential to detox. It brings vital oxygen to our cells, clears the lungs, helps ward off stress and get the toxins out through exhalation. If we don’t breathe right, we limit our oxygen supply, which has a direct impact on our energy levels and our body’s ability to detox naturally.
Do you breathe right?
To see if your breathing is optimized for health, just follow those simple steps. Place a hand on your chest and the other on your belly and take a breath through your nose or mouth. Observe your hands going up and down as you breathe. Now, which hand did go up first? Did your shoulders got up? If the hand on your belly has barely moved, and the hand on your chest rose first and more prominently, you probably are a chest breather. This means that you’re probably not using your diaphragm effectively.
How come the body don’t breathe right automatically? In fact, lifestyle can have a tremendous effect on the way we breathe. To experience how lifestyle can impact your breathing, make the following exercise. Sit down and move your shoulders up towards your ears and try to take a deep breathe. See that you can’t take a comfortable full breath? Now do the same by curling your head down, your chest caved in, like many of us works at a computer. Try again to take a deep breath. Does it feel right? I guess not. While it seems exaggerated, but this is very close to the way most of us breathes during the day. How many people work at a desk without a good posture and with shrugged shoulders due to stress?
Benefits of belly breathing
Breathing from the belly instead of from the chest can have many benefits. Belly breathing uses the diaphragm, the sheet of muscle located between the thoracic and abdominal cavities. When you use this muscle to breathe, it moves down into the belly, pushing it out while drawing oxygen deep into the lungs. And according to some research, the lower half of the lungs is by far better to deliver oxygen.
Improve your breathing instantly
One way to improve your breathing without having to constantly focus on it is to watch your posture. Make sure your head is straight, your shoulders are relaxed and your spine is straight up. Another way to improve your breathing instantly is to practice deep breathing as often as you can until it becomes a second nature. And for that, the following exercise can help.
Lie down and place your hands on your belly. Take a deep breath and let your belly expands with it. Your chest may move but be sure that the action comes from the belly first. Then, exhale completely by contracting your abs. Continue to breathe this way for a few minutes, by taking long deep breaths followed by even longer exhalations.