Are you breathing right? This question may seem trivial however, there is more to breathing than meets the eye. Many people are unaware of the power and significance of breathing exercises. The applications of breathing exercises are diverse and can be used in various activities.
its as simple as breathing
Breathing exercises are ways to keep the body active, rejuvenated and strong. There are various ways that breathing exercises help the body find balance in dis-coordination. For example, breathing is helpful to relieve either stress or anxiety on a bad day. Why are breathing exercises important? They are very important for the following reasons:
- Decreases stress by calming the body and helps you sleep better
- Relaxes your mind and body by releasing muscle contraction and reducing tension
- Improves the flow of blood by the detoxifying movement of the diaphragm
- Increases level of energy by the increased supply of oxygen
- Improves posture by straightening up the spine
- Improves digestion by increasing intestinal actions
- Stimulates lymphatic system by getting the lymph to flow properly
- Detoxifies the body by aiding in expelling waste from the body
- Reduces inflammation by reducing the acidity level of the body
- Involved in the mechanism of pain reduction by assisting the release of endorphins
There are different types of breathing patterns and often time people are completely unaware of the impact of certain breathing patterns to their immediate disposition. These breathing patterns include chest breathing and abdominal breathing, but the type of breathing exercise for anxiety that is most simple is abdominal breathing.
These techniques involve inhaling slowly and deeply through the nose and at the same time it is important to keep your shoulders relaxed, this will allow your abdomen to expand, after which one should exhale slowly through your mouth and while doing so, your lips should be tightly closed. Repeat this breathing pattern several times.
Pregnancy comes with a lot of hormonal changes and many women would feel recurrent flushes and anxiety attacks once in a while. When this happens there are some breathing exercises for pregnancy that will help when the need arises. What are the best breathing exercises for pregnancy? Some of them are:
- Abdominal breathing exercises– This technique strengthens the abdominal muscle and as a result, can help to expand the lungs. In carrying out this breathing you need to lie down with your back to the ground and your knees bent with one hand placed on the belly while the other on the chest. While doing this, you must breathe in through the nostrils alone. During the process you would notice that the abdomen pushes against the hands upwards, then you breathe out. As you do, you will ultimately feel the stomach deflate as you exhale.
- Counting breathing– This form of breathing is known to help when a woman is in labor. When you count your breath, it would enable you to relax and stabilize the heartbeat. When doing this exercise, you should place your back on the floor and breathe in deeply, then start counting. You will have to hold your breath and count up to five or ten and then breathe out slowly. During this process, you should try to push all the air out of your lungs during exhalation.
- Roll breathing– This type of breathing is particularly helpful for pregnant women, by allowing their lungs to function in its optimum capacity. The technique requires one to lay on the belly with the other hand on the chest In this process, the knees should be bent, repeat this breathing for eight to ten breathing cycle.
Some of the benefits of breathing exercises in pregnancy are that it provides your body with oxygen while relieving the body of achy muscles.
it is a known fact that the effects of asthma narrow the airways of the lungs to the point that it would be difficult to breathe. Breathing exercise can aid the functionality of the respiratory system. For people who require the most effective breathing exercises for asthma, here are some breathing techniques to try at home:
- Diaphragmatic breathing – as the name implies, this exercise is carried out with the aid of the diaphragm. The diaphragm is the dome-shaped muscle below the lungs. The importance of this exercise is that it helps to strengthen the diaphragm and mitigate hyperventilation. It also helps decrease the body’s oxygen needs. The process of this breathing exercise is lying down on your back with your knees bent; there should be a pillow under your knees. Once that is done, you should breathe in slowly through the nose while doing this one hand should be placed on your stomach, the other on your chest. The hand on your stomach should move while breathing in, but the hand on your chest remains still. Afterward, you should breathe out with the lips slightly locked, this technique is easily understandable but there should be enough practice until you are able to breathe without the hand on your chest moving.
- Nasal breathing– most times, for asthma patients, breathing through the mouth can escalate asthma crisis, this is why the nasal technique is quite helpful. It can give warmth and humidity to the air and this would thereby reduce the symptoms of asthma.
- Pursed lip breathing– this type of breathing is really helpful as it helps to relieve shortness of breath while doing the pursed-lip breathing, one needs to breathe in slowly through the nose, with the mouth closed and try to breathe out while your lips are still closed.
- Yoga breathing– practicing yoga is a great way to relax the body and mind because it combines movement and deep concentration. Yoga breathing would combine movement and breathing and is also helpful for asthmatic people.
In whatever condition one requires breathing to relieve the body and mind of stress and other conditions. One may need to practice routine breathing exercises during pregnancy in preparation for labor. Some helpful breathing exercises for labor are:
- Patterned breathing,
- Light accelerated breathing
- Variable breathing
- Expulsion breathing