Deep breathing exercises before a tough workout.
Just take a deep breath and relax… If you never heard this in your life, we would want to know on which planet you live! From time to time, everyone on earth experiences stress, fear or anger, and this common expression refers to a very simple action yet very powerful wisdom and efficiency. However, often unconscious and overlooked, breathing can be highly potent and beneficial for physical and mental health.
Yes, deep breathing exercises are usually recommended by experts as a way to cope with stress or anxiety, but with home and other exercises, these exercises can improve your lung function. It explores fundamental aspects of positive psychology, including strengths, values, and self-compassion, and will enhance your wellbeing.
Deep breathing exercises
What is deep breathing exactly? Well, also known as yogic breathing, it’s the voluntary regulation of breath by consciously and actively using the diaphragm to increase the inflow and outflow of air and decrease the frequency of each breathing cycle.
When breathing deeply, you engage the diaphragm muscle by allowing your belly to rise and drop freely, facilitating a greater airflow and breathing efficiency, which allows an array of physiological and psychological processes to occur.
Breathing is vital energy and holds the following benefits: reduces stress, enhances stamina, helps control shortness of breath, improves the speed of recovery, builds endurance, increases muscular strength, improves digestion, improves blood pressure, and improves your chances of winning!
5 Deep breathing exercises
Before your home workout, try any of these deep breathing exercises to feel a nice, natural jolt of energy that send a massive surge of oxygen and endorphins throughout that hard-working bod of yours.
• V-shape breathing:
Sit down with your legs crossed, close your eyes, and lift your arms above your head in a ‘V’ shape. Close your hands in a loose fist with your thumbs. Keep your eyes closed, and breathe deeply, exhale repetitively and forcefully, using the muscles of your lower abdomen. Do this for about 3 minutes.
• Three-part breathing:
This one is great, especially just before cardio! Breathe deeply into your stomach, diaphragm, and then your chest. Then reverse that flow as you exhale: chest, diaphragm, then stomach. After you exhale and all the air has left your belly, suck your stomach muscles in and up towards your lungs, holding for one count, then release. Repeat a few times before hopping on the workout.
• ‘Yogic coffee’ cup:
Try this bad boy out when you’re too tired to lift those free weights… we’re talking about your arms (wink-wink). Sit or stand and let your arms drop to your sides, then bring your hands up toward your shoulders. Inhale deeply, shoot your arms over your head, exhale forcefully as you bring them back down, breathing only through the nose. Repeat until you have a rhythm going – about 30 seconds to a minute.
• Twist and breathe:
Either sit on your heels, cross-legged or stand. Place your hands on your shoulders while bringing your upper arms parallel to the ground, inhale as you twist to the left, and exhale as you twist to the right. Trust us, the surge of energy will leave you actually wanting to do burpees – for once.
• 5-minute breathing routine:
If you’re a runner, this one’s for you! Take three quick, powerful inhalations through your nose without exhaling, progressively filling your lungs. Focus on expanding your lower ribs and abdomen while keeping your shoulders still. Exhale through your mouth. These three inhales/one exhale should take no more than two seconds. Repeat 20 times. After the last exhale, hold your breath.
Once you feel the need to breathe, repeat the first 3 steps. Finish with deep, calming breaths. You’re ready!
Set aside one to two minutes a day to improve your breathing, and then carry those new habits into the office, the gym, or wherever else the day takes you. You’ll huff and puff your way to a fitter, faster and stronger you!
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