10 Ways to Breathe Better
Here’s a simple fact: Your body needs oxygen, not only to live but to live better. Up to 75 percent of toxins are removed through breathing.
The problem is most of us don’t get enough oxygen into our lungs. That’s bad news because, without an abundant supply of oxygen, we’re asking for serious and long-term health problems. Every second of every day, our body exchanges carbon dioxide for oxygen and that oxygen keeps every single cell in our bodies alive and functioning. As soon as you limit your oxygen intake –think shallow breathing– you’re cutting off your body’s much-needed oxygen supply.
We know you want to be healthy so you can live life to the fullest. That’s why you’re here. The most important thing you can do right now, this very second, is to take a big deep breath. Go ahead. Inhale deeply. Do you feel refreshed? For the next few minutes, breathe deeply and pay attention to how you feel.
Taking deep breaths can transform your life. If you’re feeling tired, overwhelmed, drained, unfocused, stressed, or just not like yourself, you might need to breathe deeply and mindfully.
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Exercises and activities to add to your deep breathing routine:
- Practice mindful breathing. Slowly inhale for 4 to 6 seconds, hold your breath for 3 seconds, and slowly exhale for 4 to 6 seconds. This exercise is all about control.
- Take a long walk and focus on breathing deeply and mindfully.
- Eliminate allergens in your environment. Change your air conditioner filters, clean your vacuum, and consider purchasing an air purifier.
- Take 10 minutes every day to breathe deeply. Stop what you’re doing and breathe. You might find you no longer need that afternoon caffeine pick-me-up.
- Take a restorative yoga class. Yoga focuses on the breath, and a restorative yoga class is gentle enough for all levels.
- Sit up straight. Poor posture can contribute to shallow breathing. Buy a workout ball or kneeling chair, and sit on it for 15 minutes a day instead of your usual chair. This will help strengthen your core and improve your posture.
- Clean up. Go through your kitchen cabinets and get rid of cleaning supplies that aren’t green. Toxic chemicals can wreak havoc on your lungs.
- Try aromatherapy. Aromatherapy can help you relax and improve your mental clarity. By inhaling organic essential oils, you will be giving your body a cue that it’s time to settle down, breathe deeply, and heal. Lavender and bergamot oils are wonderfully beneficial as both are intended to help you relax.
- Create a relaxing playlist. As you listen to your playlist, center yourself by focusing on each breath. Slow, deep breaths will help you find clarity and calm.
- Hit the gym. Working out will force you to breathe deeply. If you’re new to working out, start slow and talk to a personal trainer so you can avoid getting hurt. A 20-minute walk on the treadmill, 15-minute bike ride, or 10-minute turn on the elliptical will leave you feeling refreshed and energized.