Most of us simply do not know the proper breathing techniques to keep ourselves healthy and fit.
For most of my life, I thought that you should hold your stomach in and expand your chest to fill your lungs with as much air as possible. Believe it or not, this is the wrong way to breathe.
We should actually allow our stomach area to expand as we breathe in. This action lowers the diaphragm, which in turn allows more air to fill the lower parts of your lungs. This is important since the lowest part of your lungs contains blood with the highest oxygen content.
I have also learned that slow, deep breathes can help you reduce your blood pressure for low periods of time. Research has shown that taking fewer than 10 breaths a minute does reduce blood pressures in people who have mastered this slow breathing technique.
Researchers are not sure why this works, but they do have a theory.
When we take frequent, shallow breaths, we tend to hold our breath for a short period of time. This diverts more blood to our brain, which in turn changes our blood chemistry to a more acidic nature. This increase in blood acidity makes our kidneys less efficient at removing sodium from our bodies. This in turn increases our blood pressure over an extended period of time.
On the other hand, taking longer, deep breaths, maintains a more proper blood chemistry, which in turn allows our kidneys to remove excess sodium and reduce our blood pressure.
Proper Breathing Technique
- Hold your chin up as you breathe in to keep the passage way to your lungs as open as possible
- Place your hands over your abdomen to make sure that you are expanding your abdomen area as you breathe in
- Try to reduce your breathing rate to 10 breaths per minute or less.
- Slowly breath in by allowing your abdomen to expand
- Once your lungs are full, slowly breathe out without holding your breath during the entire cycle
- Repeat this exercise for 10 to 15 minutes each day
- Eventually, your body will naturally start to breathe properly all the time
The Telegraph: " Why do so few of us know how to breathe properly? "
MSNBC: " Breathe deep to lower blood pressure, doc says "