Thursday, 9 February 2012

Healthy Breathing Exercises |

Healthy Breathing Exercises Photo Credit Take your breath image by Christophe Schmid from

Unless you struggle with asthma, emphysema, COPD or other respiratory condition, you probably take breathing for granted and give even less thought to exactly how you breathe. But how deeply you breathe and how many breaths you take per minute can all have significant effects on not just your respiratory and cardiovascular health, but your mental health as well.

Soft-belly technique

To help slow your breathing down to six or seven breaths per minute, try this exercise, but keep your belly soft throughout the process. Breathe in through your nose and exhale through the mouth. You may be able to keep better focus if you try saying "soft" as you inhale and "belly" as you exhale.

Reduce your breath count

Instead of breathing in and out 20 times per minute, try to slow your breathing down to six or eight deep breaths per minute. Start by being aware of slower deeper breathing, and try to inhale through your nose only and exhale through your mouth. A healthy inhale should last nearly five seconds to help clear the lungs and get ready for the next deep inhale.

Alternative to chest breathing

Think about particularly emotional times when you've found yourself breathing hard with your chest heaving. This only adds to anxiety and is not a healthy breathing technique you want to employ at times of distress. Instead, trying lying down for five minutes with your hand on your chest. What you're trying to do is reduce the amount of chest movement. Instead try to be aware of other parts of your body that should be engaged in breathing. Let your diaphragm do the work, and slowly feel yourself doing less and less "chest breathing."


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