Saturday, 11 February 2012

Breathing Exercises For Healthy Lungs |

Breathing Exercises for Healthy Lungs Photo Credit movimientos de tai chi image by Amalia Arriaga de Garc�a from

Breathing exercises can help relieve stress, increase energy, and strengthen the breathing muscles. According to Brian Bradley, vice president of therapy protocol for the Egoscue Method, when you do breathing exercises, your chest and shoulders should not move. Instead, when you inhale, your diaphragm in your abdominal cavity should expand, and when you exhale, your abs should return to their normal resting position. You should do most of the breathing exercises in a standing position, which trains your stabilization muscles in your hips, torso and spine.

Basic Qigong Breathing

Many Chinese martial art practitioners uses the basic qigong exercise as a warm-up to increase focus and energy. Stand with your legs hip-width apart, and relax your shoulders and arms by your sides. Bend your knees slightly, and sink your weight toward the ground. Keep your spine upright and in a neutral position, where it maintains its normal curves.

When you inhale, slowly lift your arms up in front of your chest with your hands facing each other. Keep your fingers and hands relaxed as you lift. When you have reached the end of your inhalation, exhale through your nose and lower your arms at the same time. Do six to eight breaths for one or two sets before doing other dynamic warm-up exercises.

Active Downward Dog

This exercise moves your spine, hips and legs using a series of movements borrowed from yoga. According to Bradley, this combo teaches you to move and breathe properly at the same time, and you can use this basic method in other exercises.

Go on your hands and knees with your wrists below your shoulders and your knees below your hip joints. Exhale and push your tailbone up to the sky, straightening your legs at the same time. Push your heels to the ground, and turn your toes in slightly. Take another deep breath, and press your chest and ribs closer to your thighs. Hold the position for two deep breaths.

Return to the starting position, and repeat the pattern five more times.

Neutral Back

Sometimes standing or other positions may be too stressful or painful for people with back or hip pain. According to Anthony Carey, co-founder of Function First in San Diego, California, the neutral back position distributes your weight evenly throughout your body, eliminating stress from your joints.

Lie on your back with your legs draped over an ottoman or sofa. Place your arms out to your sides with your palms facing up. Breathe deeply as you lie there for three to five minutes. Be aware of how your breathing muscles move as you breathe.


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