Simple Deep Breathing Exercise
In my “Are You A Belly Or A Chest Breather And Why Does It Matter?” article, I explained how proper breathing is deep and comes from the belly/diaphragm while improper breathing is shallow and comes from the chest. I also outlined the benefits of proper breathing and the dangers of distorted breathing.
If you haven’t already, please visit the “Are You A Belly Or A Chest Breather And Why Does It Matter?” article to take the self-test to determine if you are breathing optimally or not.
Once you have done the self-test, the next step is to review proper breathing technique. After you do this, you can begin implementing the deep breathing exercise that I list in this article.
Proper breathing technique, a review
Here’s a review of proper breathing technique:
- For optimal health, your breathing should come from the abdomen/diaphragm region.
- Each breath should be deep, slow, rhythmic and relaxed.
- Breathing should never be or feel forced.
- When you exhale, your diaphragm relaxes and moves up. This is when you bring your tummy in.
- When you inhale, your diaphragm contracts and moves down. This is when you should expand your belly.
Notes to prepare you for the simple deep breathing exercise:
- When you begin practicing, you can place one hand on your chest and one on your belly.
- As you breath in, the hand on the belly should rise higher than the hand on the chest.
- This insures that the diaphragm is pulling air into the bases of the lungs.
- Also, although it seems counter-intuitive, your breath begins with a full exhalation. You cannot inhale fully until you empty your lungs completely.
- It is also important that when you inhale, you breathe in through your nose.
Now try this: The simple deep breathing exercise
If the breathing self-test showed that you are a chest breather, it is important that you start training yourself to break the chains of old, distorted breathing patterns. The simple deep breathing exercise below is an easy exercise to start with.
Add this exercise to your daily routine and be patient – if you are a chest breather, it is very likely that you have been breathing like this for years. Things will not change miraculously overnight, but consistency will pay off and breathing correctly will become second nature.
Breathing is a complex function that involves many muscles and systems. For best results, consult with a personal trainer and/or physical therapist to receive instruction on how to stretch and strengthen muscles involved in the breathing process. Because things will not change overnight, you must also stay patient and confident throughout the process. A small side note, there is a lot of information about fitness out there, according to Fitness Edge amino acids could help to reduce body fat. This would aid in these breathing exercises for sure because my friend said he found these easier with a little be less fat on him.
Note: It is not uncommon to feel lightheaded while performing this exercise. This may be due to your body not being used to receiving such a large volume of oxygen at once. If this happens, stop, take a break and try again. Slow your tempo down. Don’t force things. If you continue to feel lightheaded, I suggest that you consult a health professional.
Now, time for the breathing exercise. Here is what you need to do:
Simple deep breathing exercise
- Sit in a comfortable position with one hand on your chest and one on your belly.
- Relax your shoulders.
- Place the tip of your tongue against the ridge of tissue just behind your upper front teeth, and keep it there throughout the entire exercise.
- Exhale completely through your mouth, making a “whoosh” sound, contracting your belly as you do so.
- Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four, expanding your belly as you breathe in.
- Hold your breath for a count of seven.
- Exhale completely through your mouth, making a “whoosh” sound to a count of eight. Exhalation takes twice as long as inhalation. This is one breath.
- Now inhale again and repeat the cycle three more times for a total of four breaths.
For optimal health, it is essential that you breath properly and that your breaths come deep from your diaphragm and are not shallow, from your chest. If the results from the self-test in “Are You A Belly Or A Chest Breather And Why Does It Matter?” showed that you are a chest breather, you should perform the simple deep breathing exercise daily. This will help
Give me a shout out
- Did you take the self-test from “Are You A Belly Or A Chest Breather And Why Does It Matter?”? Are you a chest or belly breather? Did your results surprise you?
- Did you try my simple deep breathing exercise? If yes, what did you think? Was it easy, difficult, etc.?
- Do you practice breathing exercises regularly? If yes, what is your favorite exercise to perform?
When she is not slaying fat and building muscle, Jennifer can be found trekking barefoot, traveling, cooking and refining her photography skills. She also enjoys reading and writing about food culture, history and the science of human movement.