What a Little Deep Breathing Can Do for You
Breathing is one of those things your body does that you don't have to think about. But we YOU Docs think you should pay attention to it every now and then, or you'll miss out on some major health benefits, especially for your lungs. That's because deep breathing:
- Brings oxygen deeper into your lungs
- Moves more nitric oxide (which widens blood vessels) to your lungs, which helps your blood vessels and lungs work better
- Removes toxins by getting lymph moving
- Calms you
Here's a quick test: Stop reading, and inhale and exhale normally, looking down as you do. If you don't see your belly moving, your breathing is short and shallow. Now try this:
- Lie flat on the floor, one hand on your belly, the other on your chest.
- Inhale deeply and slowly as you count to five. Your belly button should move away from your spine, and your chest should widen and rise slightly as your lungs fill with air.
- Exhale slowly to a count of seven. Your belly button should pull toward your spine.
- Let your belly button be your guide. When you deeply inhale, feel your belly button go out as your lungs fully expand with air. When you deeply exhale, feel your belly button suck in as you blow out old air and carbon dioxide.
Take 10 deep breaths like the one you just practiced, morning and night, and take as many as you need when practicing your serve or chasing your dog.