We often spend so much time practicing and trying to perfect what is important or easy to us. As a result, we spend little time on things that we do not find important or hard to do. With that being said, let me ask you this:
What is more important than breathing and how often should we practice it?
We literally can’t live without it! We breathe about 25,000 times per day and the majority of us spend zero time practicing it. If we are not practicing how to breathe properly, each time we breathe throughout the day, we are enforcing improper ways of doing so. Think of the damage that it is causing to our body throughout a lifetime.
Why don’t we and why should we practice breathing?
I believe breathing is just something we take for granted, because it is second nature to us. We do it every second of the day without even thinking. Many of us do not understand the importance or understand that there is a right or wrong way to breathe. Breathing is not only necessary to live, it affects our posture, ability to brace, and recovery.
How do we properly practice breathing?
Just like everything else in fitness or in life, there are different opinions on how things should be done. That’s never going to change. However, from personal experience, research and feedback from the vast majority of my clients, I truly feel that diaphragmatic breathing or “belly breathing” is the way to go. Diaphragmatic breathing has many benefits:
- Lowers Heart Rate
- Lowers Blood Pressure
- Improves Posture
- Improves Core Stability
- Improves Recovery from Intense Exercise
- Helps Manage Stress and Depression
With all of theses benefits, I hope we can now see the importance of practicing and perfecting how we breathe. Best thing is we can practice breathing anywhere. Here are the steps:
- Lay flat on the ground with your feet elevated on a bench, chair, or bed at 90 degrees
- Relax your shoulders
- Put your hands on your stomach with a little pressure
- Inhale (2 secs) through the nose pushing your belly outwards into your hands while your chest remains still
- Exhale (4 – 6 secs) out of your mouth
Let me show you how: