We’re excited to introduce our Better Breathing series. Your breathing is the link between a healthier body and mind. That’s why each month, we’re focusing on tips for improving the effectiveness of each breath you take.
You may not be running a marathon anytime soon, but that shouldn’t stop you from learning a helpful breathing technique used by long distance runners.
Why runners? Because knowing how to breathe when running is an important skill that many serious runners have perfected. Simply put, the better you breathe, the further and faster you can go.
If shortness of breath or shallow breathing is an issue you or a loved one faces, you may want to try these steps to improve the strength of your breath.
Please note: If you’re experiencing breathing issues or shortness of breath it’s important to see your physician and discuss your options, including oxygen therapy, for a healthier life.
Key Tip: Improve your lung strength
The main problem for people who are plagued with breathing issues is lung strength. Over time, your lungs can lose their strength and elasticity. With that, you lose your ability to fully engage your lungs and push out accumulated stale air.
This is for a variety of reasons, but asthma and COPD can play a major role in your lungs losing their strength.
This is the very reason the American Lung Association recommends breathing
exercises, especially for those with lung health issues.
Try this simple breathing exercise
Just as physical therapy can strengthen your leg muscles to prevent injury, breathing exercises can strengthen how efficiently your lungs work.
Try out this deep breathing technique:
- Lie down on the floor, place a hand on your belly and breathe deeply
- Focus on making your hand rise and fall slightly – that’s belly breathing
- If your chest moves up and down you are not breathing deeply enough
- You can also try this exercise by sitting upright in a chair
- Stay focused by counting your breaths (if you lose count, start over)
Deep breathing, also known as diaphragmatic breathing, engages more of your body’s core muscles with each breath you take. You can see why it’s a favorite training technique for runners.
Making it a healthy habit
Most people don’t give enough thought to their breathing, let alone making better breathing a habit. But you’ll soon feel the positive effects of deep breathing.
Deep belly breathing, unlike chest breathing, provides you with two major advantages:
- Uses the entire capacity of your lungs
- Air reaches further down into your lungs and stays there longer
Practicing deep breathing for a set period each morning and choosing to make it a healthy habit is a positive step you can take each day by. Eventually, you can make an effort to practice it while you’re driving in a car. Or out and about grocery shopping.
Commit to it for a week and see how better you can breathe.
Deep breathing is a great technique for improving your lung strength and gaining more energy as you go about your day. It’s a great step in the right direction for anyone hampered by shallow breathing or frequent shortness of breath.
Want to learn more about ways to improve your health? Please keep reading our blog, and be sure to share it with your friends.
For more information on using portable oxygen while staying active, please contact us. Enjoy your best health.