You’ll keep on breathing as long as you live without ever having to think about it, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re breathing in the best way. Nor does it mean that you can’t permanently alter your breathing pattern. Belly breathing is not an anxiety, with certain practice it becomes normal. Here are some advantages of belly breathing in your fitness.
How You Breathe?
Breathing is an example of what’s known as an autonomic process, or one that your nervous system performs without conscious effort. That’s in contrast to something like walking across the room, which is a voluntary process that you decide to undertake. Other examples of autonomic processes are heart rate and digestion. Most of us do what is called apical breathing, in which your chest is the primary mover. See for yourself: take a breath and notice where most of the action is. If you’re like most people, to inhale you pulled your chest and lungs up, as if you were drawing up air from your throat with a straw. When you exhaled, your upper chest moved back down and your stomach was more pushed out than when you inhaled. Also Read: Healthy Diet Plans
Breathe Like A Baby
Contrast that with how a baby naturally breathes. If you happen to have one handy, you’ll see her stomach inflate with each breath in, then return to its normal position during exhalation. This is belly breathing. It makes much better use of the diaphragm, the large, flat muscle just below the lungs that helps to draw air into the lungs. When you belly breathe, the diaphragm contracts properly, moving down, thereby making more room for your lungs to fill with air.The cells in your body need oxygen to function properly and are harmed by carbon dioxide. So drawing in more oxygen and expelling more carbon dioxide with each breath can have a profound effect on your health. Everything from digestion and posture to work capacity and even your mental state improves when you belly breathe.
Advantages Of Belly Breathing
Switching to belly breathing will take conscious effort at first. You can hasten the process by practicing in bed before you go to sleep. While lying on your back, place one or both hands on your stomach, near your belly button. Inhale by gently expanding your belly, from both the front and sides. Watch to see how your hands rise as you breathe in, then fall as you exhale. Do some breaths through your mouth and nose, and others only through your nose, to better learn how to use this technique at all times. Also Read: How to stay motivated to workout
Don’t Take Belly Breathing Anxiety
Once you’re familiar with what belly breathing should feel like it, practice it throughout the day. If you’re doing something that doesn’t require much concentration, check in on your breathing. Commit to belly breathe for the next little while. Another good time to practice is when you feel stressed. If you’re stuck in traffic, or on hold with the cable company, or just got an upsetting text, take deep belly breaths, and notice how focusing on really filling your lungs with air and then exhaling completely helps to calm you.
With regular practice, belly breathing will become your natural method.