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The Basics of Breathing Exercises for Stress, Endurance

Performing breathing exercises on a regular basis can help you relax to beat anxiety and also improve your athletic performance. Read on to learn more.
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Your breath is a powerful tool. It brings oxygen essential into the body, which goes into the blood and is sent to all your vital organs. As much as your breath can help with the physical mechanics of your body, it can also have amazing psychological benefits.

To tap into it, consider trying some breathing exercises.

What Is a Breathing Exercise?
A breathing exercise is when you concentrate solely on breathing in as much oxygen as possible be sent through the body, stretching and exercising the lungs and the entire respiratory system. Breathing exercises allow the diaphragm to fully extend and the lungs fill completely with air. Think the deepest breath you can. You can place a hand on your chest and one on your belly to feel the movement.

Here are five variations to try:

  1. Inhale and exhale through the nose for the same amount of seconds, slowly. You can start with two or three seconds and work your way up.
  2. Cover one nostril and inhale and exhale slowly through the nose. Switch sides and repeat.
  3. Draw in as much air as possible through the nose and hold it in for a few seconds before exhaling through the mouth.
  4. Take short rapid breaths in and out through the mouth.
  5. Inhale slowly through the nose and exhale through the mouth.

Healthy Effects of Breathing Exercises
First and foremost, practicing concentrated breathing for even just a few minutes can lower stress and anxiety. You'll start to feel more calm and get back the energy and focus you need to continue with your current task and the rest of your day. Reducing stress and anxiety brings with it a whole host of perks. When you're anxious, the body releases hormones like adrenaline and another one, cortisol, which can lead to weight gain. Your immune system also becomes compromised, leaving you more susceptible to illness. Lastly, your blood pressure and heart rate spikes, which puts too much strain on the heart.

If you're someone who's physically active, learning to control your breath is essential for keeping exercise safe, no matter what form you choose. Your muscles need to remain oxygenated to keep you moving so you don't lose form, which could lead to injury. Focusing on your breath and practicing breathing exercises will also help you increase your endurance, allowing you to push further with greater stamina.

Tips for Success
If you're interested in trying some breathing exercises, you're in luck. There's no fancy equipment you need or a studio you have to go to. Here are some helpful hints to allow you to get the most out of it:

  • Find a quite place where you can be alone. It could be your bedroom, office or even your bathroom.
  • Keep things quiet or play music, just pick something that won't distract you.
  • Speaking of distractions, leave your cell phone in another room or turn it off.
  • Aim for 10 minutes a day.
  • Consider using a Himalayan sea salt inhaler to help you open up the airways.
  • Go in a steam room or even the shower to assist you.

Practicing breathing exercises can help you feel more centered and help you ignite your workouts. Shop for everything you need to live a more balanced, healthy and stress-free life at eVitamins. Stay well.

 

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