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BBJ Fitness Corner | Breathing exercises

WHEN it comes to working out or training athletes tend to forget how important it is to control your breathing and how it could benefit your exercise.

Taking just a few moments each day to practice some deep breathing exercises can decrease stress, relax your mind, body and can help you sleep better.

Breathing correctly is important for your overall well-being. While its benefits are immeasurable, here are some important ones that will motivate you to deep breathe.

It can be a natural painkiller. When you deep breathe, the body releases endorphins, which are the feel good hormones and a natural pain killer created by the body itself.

Breathing also improves your blood flow. When we take deep breaths, the upward and downward movement of the diaphragm helps remove the toxins from the body promoting better blood flow.

It could also give you a boost of energy. Due to increased blood flow, we get more oxygen into our blood. Increased oxygen results in increased energy levels.

It also improves your posture. Believe it or not, bad posture is related to incorrect breathing. If you don’t believe, try it yourself. Try to breathe deeply and notice how your body starts to straighten up during the process. When you fill your lungs with air, this automatically encourages you to straighten up your spine.

Another is reduction of inflammation. A lot is said that diseases like cancer only thrive in bodies that are acidic in nature. Deep breathing is said to reduce the acidity in your body, thereby making it alkaline. Stress also increases acidity level in the body. Breathing also reduces stress and thus the acidity.

Gold’s Gym personal trainer Jerry Diaz’s BBJ Functional Fitness Class practicing the 10 breath reset technique.Gold’s Gym personal trainer Jerry Diaz’s BBJ Functional Fitness Class practicing the 10 breath reset technique.

It detoxifies the body. Carbon dioxide is a natural toxic waste that comes out from our body only through breathing. But when our lungs are compromised by shallow breathing the other detoxification system starts working harder to expel this waste. This can make our body weaker and lead to illness.

Practicing your breathing also stimulates the lymphatic system. As our breathing is what moves the lymph, shallow breathing can lead to a sluggish lymphatic system which will not detoxify properly. Deep breathing will help you get the lymph flowing properly so that your body can work more efficiently.

An improvement in digestion could also be noticed. Breathing deep supplies more oxygen to all our body parts including our digestive system, thus making it work more efficiently. The increased blood flow due to deep breathing also encourages intestinal action which further improves your overall digestion. In addition, deep breathing results in a calmer nervous system, which in turn also enhances optimal digestion.

Lastly, breathing relaxes the mind and body. When you are angry, tensed or scared, your muscles are tightened and your breathing becomes shallow. Your breathing constricts. At this time your body is not getting the amount of oxygen it requires. Long deep breathing reverses this process, allowing your body (and mind) to become calmer.

There are so many techniques for breathing. Here are some techniques shared by Gold’s gym personal trainer Jerry Diaz. Sama Vritti or “Equal Breathing”, Abdominal Breathing Technique, Nadi Shodhana or “Alternate Nostril Breathing”, Kapalabhati or “Skull Shining Breath”, Progressive Relaxation and Guided Visualization.

Controlling our breathing is one of the most effective means of intervening in our bodily and physiological state. Breathing connects the mind and body. Breathing exercises can help us relax, control anxiety, and insomnia. Breathing techniques improve our attention and reduce negative thoughts.

Breathing techniques does not only apply to working out but to everyday routines.

BBJ Quote: “The problem is that we glorify the wrong things and take for granted the right things.”