Saturday, 11 February 2012

Proper Breathing Exercises |

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

Breathing correctly can help alleviate the negative impact stress has on the body, researchers at the University of South Florida say. It is essential for maintaining a healthy lifestyle and can help prepare the body for external stresses. The American Medical Student Association (AMSA) asserts that proper breathing techniques can become a habit with practice.

Abdominal Breathing

AMSA recommends that this exercise should be practiced twice a day, "whenever you find your mind dwelling on upsetting thoughts" or are feeling pain. Place one hand on your chest and the other on your abdomen. Inhale deeply and ensure that the hand on the abdomen is rising more than the hand on your chest. Exhale through the mouth and inhale deeply through the nose. Hold the breath for a count of seven. Exhale slowly while counting to eight. Repeat for five deep breaths at the rate of one breath every 10 seconds.

The Sigh

Researchers at the University of South Florida note that sighing and yawning can be sighs that the body is not receiving enough oxygen. They say that the act of sighing relieves stress and can be a method of relaxation. This exercise can be performed while sitting or standing. Breathe in deeply and exhale while sighing and allowing a sound of relief to escape the body. Inhale naturally and repeat the exercise whenever necessary to experience a feeling of relaxation.

Bellows Breathing

The AMSA notes that this technique can help the body create more energy whenever needed. It is performed sitting in a chair with the back straight. With the mouth closed, breath in and out through your nose as fast as possible. Visualize a bicycle pump pumping up a tire quickly. The inhale is the upstroke and the exhale is the downstroke. Do this as quickly as possible, AMSA suggests, with as many as two to three cycles per seconds. This exercise will work the base of the neck, chest and abdomen. Practice this exercise for no longer than 15 seconds at the beginning and slowly increase your practice time by five seconds. The AMSA warns that hyperventilation can occur, resulting in a loss of consciousness, therefore this technique should be practiced in a safe place.

The Clenched Fist

This breathing exercise will stimulate the respiratory, circulatory and nervous systems, researchers at the University of South Florida say. It is performed while standing straight with your hands and arms relaxed at your sides. Inhale and hold a natural breath. Raise your arms in front of the body while keeping them completely relaxed. Slowly bend the arms and bring your hands to your shoulders. While bringing your hands in towards your body, contract your hands into fists so that when they reach the shoulders they are clenched as tightly as possible. Hold the fists clenched as you push your arms outward very slowly. Rapidly pull and push your arms back and forth to the shoulders while holding the clenched fist several times.


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