Breathe Better: II

A reminder:  “You can’t be truly healthy unless you’re breathing correctly.”

Following up on the first breathing article, here are two more exercises to improve our breathing and our general health.

The average adult engages as little as 10 percent of the diaphragm, the jellyfish-shaped muscle under the lungs primarily responsible for respiration. Shallow, chest breathing can overburden the heart, strain the neck and shoulder muscles and keep you in a constant state of low-grade stress. Diaphragmatic breathing, also known as belly breathing, can retrain you to breathe more deeply, allow the lungs to soak up more oxygen and reduce stress.

                                                                                                                      Credit…Brown Bird Design

BELLY BREATHING To begin, lie flat on your back with your knees bent. Place one hand on your chest and the other on your belly, just below the rib cage. Breathe in slowly through the nose so your stomach expands against your hand. The hand on your chest should not move. Slowly exhale through the nose or pursed lips and feel the belly move down to its original position. Repeat for five to 10 minutes. As you get more comfortable with the technique, practice sitting or standing.

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