There’s a simple way to stay healthy, feel energized and look younger – breathing
Breathing is so simple and routine that we often forget its importance. As we get older, it’s crucial not to take these little things for granted. When you eat properly and stay active, it goes a long way in improving your mental and physical well being. Not to mention it does wonders for our skin and keeps us younger, longer. Here’s another healthy technique to incorporate into your wellness routine: daily breathing exercises. It sounds strange at first, but the benefits are rewarding. In a nutshell, breathing can improve your energy level, reduce stress/anxiety and can lower blood pressure. They’re easy to perform and can be done anywhere. After doing these breathing exercises for a week, you’ll begin to notice an improvement in your physical and mental health.
When you find yourself in a negative or stressful situation, these breathing exercises can help center you. Of course, you don’t have to wait for anxiety to strike. When you perform these exercises throughout the day, it can help improve your regular breathing, too.
Pursed Lip Breathing
Because this method is so simple, it’s advised to start off with pursed lip breathing. From there, you can move onto more challenging breathing techniques for relaxation. It’s good during exercise when you feel short of breath – in fact, you’ve probably done it before.
- Relax your neck and shoulders
- Take a normal breath for two counts
- Pucker, or purse, your lips and exhale as you count to four
This one is good to do at work to help with relaxation and concentration.
- Close your eyes and keep your feet planted on the floor
- Breathe in through the nose and hold for a count of five
- Breathe out through the mouth and do this a few times
- Begin a pattern of normal breathing and count on every exhale (count up to five)
Equal Breathing Alternate Nostril Breathing
Having trouble sleeping? Here’s an exercise that will give you a sound case of the Z’s. As you can see, it’s also very simple to do.
- Inhale for a count of four (through your nose)
- Exhale for a count of four (through your nose)
Alternate Nostril BreathingAbdom
Here’s another exercise you can perform when you’re having trouble concentrating at work or when your mind is racing and you can’t sleep. It’s also a great technique to reduce stress. In the 2016 Presidential election, Hilary Clinton performed alternate nostril breathing to stay relaxed.
- Press your right thumb over your right nostril and breathe in through your left nostril
- Next place your right index finger over your left nostril and breathe in through your right nostril
- Perform this breathing exercise five times
In this exercise, your diaphragm is doing all the work. It will immediately reduce your heart rate and blood pressure.
- Begin with your shoulders back and place one hand on your chest, the other on your stomach
- Breath in through the nose and make sure your stomach is inflating, not your chest
- Allow the air to expand your stomach and then breath out through your mouth
On paper, these breathing exercises may seem simple, but some may be a challenge to perform. You won’t be perfect at the beginning, so the important thing is to practice daily. Start off with the easiest technique on the list (pursed lip breathing) and move on from there. These exercises are certain to help reduce stress and make you feel more relaxed in any environment. Because stress can do a number on your appearance, your health isn’t the only way you can benefit from these exercises.