Exercises to help Your Breathing
To finish off the series I thought I would share with you some easy to follow exercises to help your breathing. You could use these exercises to help you:
- Through an Asthma attack,
- Help you sleep,
- Relieve a stress attack,
- Clear a clogged up nose, and
- Assist you with your exercise program.
If you refer back to my article Yes, there is a right way to breathe! I highlight the need to hold your breath long enough until you want to breathe, but not have to breathe by taking a great big gulp of air through your mouth.
The technique I refer to now is an extension of this, you hold your breath for as long as possible, it needs to be at least 35 – 40 seconds. This equates to taking a puff of an asthma reliever. Yes! it will hurt and you may feel panicked – but you will not die.
Why would you do this, you may ask? – It forces the airways to open and lifts the CO2 level, without the side effects of being shaky. Along with helping to protect your body without filling it with chemicals. I know this can be frightening as you may feel as if you are suffocating, but the benefits of this technique far out way the 40 secs of discomfort.
If you feel an asthma attack coming on (but not actually having one) try this:
Hold your breath for 35-40 seconds, relax your breathing for 1-2 minutes, then do a reduced breathing exercise for 5 minutes. If you are still panicked or the asthma attack is getting more severe, take one puff of your asthma reliever, then start the breathing process again.
Natural Sleeping Pill
This is a great technique if you are having trouble getting to sleep, it works better than counting sheep.
- Close your Mouth
- Breathe in and out of nose twice
- Hold breath for count of 2, (ie 1, 2)
- Keep mouth Closed, breathe in an out of nose twice
- This time hold for count of 3
- Keep going with this process until you reach count of 10 and then start working backwards.
Once you have the technique down you will very rarely get past the count of 5 or 6 before you are off in the land of nod.
Natural Stress Release
- You use the same process as the Natural Sleeping Pill but instead of counting, ie 1,2 you count seconds, ie 1, one thousand, 2, one thousand)
- So breathe in for 2 seconds then out for 3 seconds and hold breath for 2 seconds
- Repeat process breathing in for 2 and out for 3 but each time hold for another second
- When you reach 10 seconds if still need to calm down start going back to 2 seconds
From personal experience, you don’t need to count backwards.
This technique A) helps to reduce your breathing rate, but B) it gives you time to pause and reflect on your stress and what has caused you to feel this way in the first place.
How to clear a clogged nose
- This time we use steps to hold breath
- Keep mouth closed
- Breathe in and out of nose twice
- Then hold breath for 6-8 steps
- Repeat but this time hold for 8-10 steps
- So on until you reach 20-30 steps and then go back to 6-8 steps
I find that when I’ve been crying and I get all cloggy, just holding your breath and wiggling your feet a few times is enough to clear your nose. I mean after a good tear jerking movie it is a great technique to know.
This exercise is great if you really want to increase your physical stamina. It is a process that will take time but it is well worth the effort.
- When exercising keep mouth closed
- When you get to the point where you need to open your mouth
- Place a marker and then slow your breathing down – be sure not to breathe through your mouth
- Go back to starting point and do it again
- You will find that you will go past your first marker.
- The exciting thing about this exercise is that you can visually mark your progress
Before you do any exercise do a set of reduce breathing exercises first to prepare yourself for the activity
Do another set when finished and cooling down
NB Always seek advice from your Health Care Professional before commencing any exercise program for the first time.
One thing I would like to mention, and this goes for the other two blog entries on this topic. When you first start retraining your body to a new breathing pattern, you body may react. You may get what is called a clearing reaction. This means you could end up with a runny nose, headaches, sore throat, general feeling of feeling unwell. This is normal as it is body’s way of adjusting to the new level of CO2 within the lungs.
The bronchiales have probably been restricted for a long time as they have been trying to keep in the CO2. As the exercises start, these airways can start to open and the body is then able to get rid of the mucus that has filled these airways.
To help try the following: Gently exhale through the nose and then pinch nose closed, gently nod head up and down and side to side or walk up and down until you feel the need to breathe. You can then take a gently breath through the nose – the clearing should be felt immediately. Repeat process if needed.
Well I hope you have enjoyed this series on learning how to breathe right for your body.
Remember if you would like to learn more about the right way to breathe or deal with the underlying issues, we here at Empowering theProduct Kinesiology would love to be able to assist you in your journey.
Have an empowering day
Yours in Health