Breathing Exercises

Breathing Exercises

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    Mindfulness breathing is a simple strategy to begin developing mindfulness skills. The act of practicing mindfulness can be challenging; the key is practice, practice, practice.

    Start by bringing your attention to your breathing.

    Breathe in through your nose, allowing the air to fill your lower belly.

    Then, breathe out through your mouth. Notice the sensations of each inhalation and exhalation.

    Continue the breathing exercise for a while. Then, begin to broaden your focus by noticing thoughts, feelings and sensations that arise in the moment.

    Notice each thought or sensation as it arises, without judging it good or bad and without pursuing it (letting it become a center focus, in other words).

    If you become distracted, return focus to your breathing and then expand your awareness again.
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    Breathing deeply will help prevent a respiratory infection following knee replacement surgery. Take deep breaths every hour until you are back to your usual level of activity. Use a spirometer if you were given one in the hospital.
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    AAlice Domar, Psychology, answered
    Here's how to do a mini-relaxation using breathing:

    Breathe deeply. (This is called diaphragmatic breathing. If you are having trouble, try breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth.) You should feel your stomach rising about an inch as you breathe in, and falling about an inch as you breathe out. If this is still difficult for you, lie on your back or on your stomach; you will be more aware of your breathing pattern. Remember, it is impossible to breathe diaphragmatically if you are holding in your stomach. So relax your stomach muscles.

    Version 1

    Count very slowly to yourself from ten down to zero, one number for each breath. With the first diaphragmatic breath, you say “ten” to yourself; with the next breath, you say “nine,” etc. If you start feeling lightheaded or dizzy, slow down the counting. When you get to “zero,” see how you are feeling. If you are feeling better, great! If not, try again.

    Version 2

    As you inhale, count very slowly from one to four; as you exhale, count slowly back down from four to one. As you inhale, say “one, two, three, four.” As you exhale, say “four, three, two, one.” Do this several times.

    Version 3

    Inhale. Pause for a few seconds. Then exhale, and pause for a few seconds. Do this for several breaths.
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    ARealAge answered
    Aim for 10 deep breaths in the morning, 10 at night, and as many as you need in between to help relieve stress. Here's how to do them:
    • Lie on your back, flat on the floor, with one hand on your belly and one hand on your chest. Lying on the floor at first when you practice is important, because if you stand up, you're more likely to fake a deep breath by doing an exaggerated chest extension, rather than letting your lungs fill up naturally.
    • Take a deep breath in—slowly.
    • Imagine your lungs filling up with air; it should take about 5 seconds to inhale. As your diaphragm pulls down your chest cavity, your belly button should move away from your spine as your lungs fill with air. Your chest may also widen and rise ever so slightly as you inhale.
    • When your lungs feel full, exhale slowly—taking about 7 seconds to let all the air out.

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    ARealAge answered

    Your sympathetic nervous system is the part of your wiring that is sensitive to stress and anxiety, controlling your fight-or-flight response and those oft-damaging spikes in the stress hormones, cortisol and adrenaline. Chronic stress burns through your body’s nutrients and destabilizes your brain and hormonal chemistry.

    Depression, muscle tension and pain, insulin sensitivity, gastrointestinal issues, and insomnia, among scores of other conditions, are all related to a sympathetic nervous system sick and tired of working overtime. The time has come to give it a rest and bring in new shift work. What counteracts this mechanism? The parasympathetic nervous system, which can trigger a bona fide relaxation response. And deep breathing is the quickest means of getting these two systems to communicate, flicking the switch from high alert to low in a matter of seconds as your heart rate slows, muscles relax, and blood pressure lowers.

    From The Mind-Beauty Connection: 9 Days to Less Stress, Gorgeous Skin, and a Whole New You by Amy Wechsler.

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    ARealAge answered

    The biggest beauty thief and ager of all is the stress our minds try to endure day in and day out.

    A classic sign of the stress response is shallow, crazy-fast breathing. That’s why the opposite—deep, slow breathing—is such an effective way to calm yourself down. It can help you halt a stress reaction, or at least control it. Plus, it shifts the body’s balance of carbon dioxide-to-oxygen in favor of energizing oxygen. Remember, carbon dioxide is a waste product, whereas your cells and systems need a constant supply of fresh oxygen to stay alive and work efficiently. Oxygen is arguably the most vital nutrient for the body; we would die within minutes without it. The integrity of the brain, nerves, glands, and internal organs depends on oxygen, and any shortage in supply will have a profound impact on the entire body—inside and out.

    The lymphatic system, too, gets a serious boost from deep breathing. Lymph is a clear fluid filled with immune cells that moves around the body in a series of vessels. It delivers nutrients and collects cellular waste while helping to destroy pathogens, including those that can downgrade your skin health. The deeper you breathe, the more you can achieve this effect. While the heart is the pump for the vascular system, the lymphatic system has no built-in pump, so it relies on your breathing and physical movement to get around the body. It has long been known that exercise stimulates this movement of lymphatic fluid, but the role of breathing wasn’t entirely recognized until scientists found a way to photograph lymph flow. This is how they observed that deep breathing causes the lymph to gush through the lymphatic vessels.

    It’s empowering to know that something as simple (and free) as breathing can be a powerful tool to build beauty and sustain health.

    From The Mind-Beauty Connection: 9 Days to Less Stress, Gorgeous Skin, and a Whole New You by Amy Wechsler.

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    AKathleen Hall, Preventive Medicine, answered
    Before jumping out of bed, take three long slow deep abdominal breaths and bathe your sleepy organs in nourishing oxygen. Inhale. Exhale. Breath is the source of nourishment for your vital organs: brain, heart, and liver. It may seem simple, but breath is the easiest, most available conduit to emotional, physical, and spiritual well being.


     
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    During aerobic exercise you should breathe normally and deeply as possible during your workouts. During strength training workouts you should breathe in during the eccentric or lengthening phase and breathe out during the concentric or shortening phase. It’s important to breathe during exercise and never hold your breath which can increase blood pressure and cause dangerous problems.
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    ASadie Lincoln, Fitness, answered on behalf of barre3
    Having an awareness of breath, and its connection to movement, helps you focus and stay centered. Paying attention to breath helps you get the most out of the time you’re spending to be healthy. Plus, your breath helps your circulation and digestion, and has a calming effect on the body -- even during a challenging workout. Think of your breath as a guide through your entire workout, and hopefully entire day.
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    APam Grout, Alternative & Complementary Medicine, answered

    This is another biggie with breathing coaches because by putting up an obstacle you make conscious contact with your breath. By focusing on the out breath, more air goes out and when more air goes out, more air has to come in. Plus the simple act of pursing the lips forces you to breathe in a deeper, more diaphragmatic mode.

    While this seems pretty benign at first, there are several benefits. By letting the air stream out as freely as possible through the straw, you actually expel more air than you ordinarily would. This is the key to increased inhalation. The pressure of the atmospheric air and the pressure of the air in the lungs have to equalize.

    Furthermore, since the air can get out only slowly through the narrow straw, the diaphragm is forced to relax slowly rather than suddenly. Slow relaxation of the diaphragm improves muscle tone. As soon as your breathing apparatus is toned up, more efficient breathing follows.

    It also gives you a simple and objective test to check the quality of your breathing. With the palm of your hand, feel the temperature of the first and last exhalation you let pass through the straw. You will discover the air at the end o f your session is considerably warmer than your first exhalation. As air coming from the deeper part of your body is warmer, this indicates your breathing is deeper, less superficial than when you began.