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An Exercise in Proper Breathing

Take a Good Breather
-- By Nicole Nichols, Personal Trainer

Proper Breathing is an underestimated, but critical building block of good health. Slow, deep breathing gets rid of carbon dioxide waste and takes plenty of clean, fresh oxygen to your brain and muscles. More blood cells get the new, oxygen-rich air instead of the same old stale stuff. Experts estimate that proper breathing helps your body eliminate toxins 15 times faster than poor, shallow breathing. You'll not only be healthier, but you'll be able to perform better (mentally and physically) and, of course, be less stressed and more relaxed.

Here's an exercise that will help you get the full benefits of good breathing. The techniques in this exercise are ones you should try to develop in your normal breathing, and that could take practice. Try to take about 10 minutes, but it can happen in five by cutting the time for each step in half. Most of it can be done anywhere you need to relax or clear your head:

  1. Get Ready (2 minutes) Make the room dark, or at least darker. Lie down on a couch or bed, or sit against a wall. Use a pillow for comfort. Make sure no part of your body is strained or supporting weight. Close your eyes. Just pay attention to your breathing for a minute or two. Don't try to change it, just notice how it feels. Imagine the fresh blood flowing through your body. Listen to your surroundings.

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Member Comments About this Article
"I too have been taking louder, deeper breaths that my husband loves to point out to me. He does it by poking fun of course :) Glad to know someone else has this issue as well!" -- MSTILE21
"Lately when I'm working from home my husband who works from home everyday has noticed that I take deep breaths more often (like someone does when they are frustrated) so he'd ask what's wrong and it was nothing. Apparently, I'm just not breathing like I used to. This article sure helped. Thanks!" -- DIANAZ123
"This was a great exercise for me. I find during the day as I am running around that I breathe very shallowly and frequently take big deep breaths just to make up for my shallow breathing.

My goal is to SLOW DOWN in both breathing and life and go about my business more purposefully." -- NEWBY32
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About The Author
Nicole Nichols
Nicole earned her bachelor's degree in health promotion and education, specializing in exercise and fitness, from the University of Cincinnati. She maintains several fitness certifications, including prenatal and postpartum exercise design.
Nicole Nichols


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