Breathslim Blog - Featuring breathing exercises, breathing therapy and proper breathing techniques.

Say “I do” to Deep Breathing

Deep breathing exercises for stress-free living!

Getting engaged is a big moment for anyone. But if it’s in front of millions of TV viewers, then it’s bound to add another level of stress, especially if the proposer is unsure the proposed with say yes.

Such was the case for Josh Murray when he asked Andi Dorfman to marry him on the finale of ABC’s “The Bachelorette” this season. In addition to becoming officially engaged, the two visibly engaged in deep breathing as the proposal took place.

As a former pro-baseball player Murray and his wife-to-be obviously know deep breathing can help calm the nerves. Although it’s unlikely many will ever be proposed to on national TV, they will invariably find ourselves in other stressful situations.

To calm yourself down, practice this simple breathing exercise: begin breathing deeply and slowly through the nose. Then hold for approximately three-to-five seconds before exhaling through the mouth. Repeat this act a couple times and you’ll soon feel calmer since this exercise can lower your heart-rate as well as your blood pressure.

Another exercise requires you to clench both hands into tight fists. As you push your arms and hands away from your body, open your hands out wide, and repeat. For a double-dose of calm, combine both the breathing and the clenching exercises into one.

A good way to make stress-free living part of your regular routine is to engage in 20 minutes of breathing exercises with the Breathslim® device. In addition to helping you breath better, it will also help you sleep sounder and awake with more energy and clarity to greet the day’s surprises—whether it’s having a rocky time at work or receiving an $85,000 rock in the shape of a Neil Lane engagement ring from “The Bachelorette” producers.

 

Combat Depression with Deep Breathing

Combat Depression with Deep Breathing Exercises

The world was stunned when the news of Robin Williams’s suicide surfaced. Unfortunately his story is not unique. Funnymen Richard Jeni, Charles Rocket and Freddie Prinze also committed suicide after losing battles to depression. Of course, one doesn’t have to be a professional comedian to suffer from this dangerous disease.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 90% of people who take their own lives are diagnosed with depression or another mental illness. A report done in 2013 also suggests baby boomers suffering from depression are more likely to consider suicide than other generation groups.

To dull the pain of depression, many turn to drugs or alcohol but this only worsens the situation. Healthier options are available and must be used as part of a strategy to properly combat depression.

Often when a person’s mood is low, their breathing is shallow and constricted. This causes an inadequate supply of oxygen in the blood and can result in an emotional imbalance. Fortunately, there are simple breathing exercises to deepen one’s breathing and lighten one’s mood.

If you close your eyes and focus all your attention on breathing deeply, you can relax your body. This will allow you to open your mind and welcome in positive thoughts. Simply increase the depth of your breath so you are taking four or fewer breaths every 60 seconds. Try this for five minutes and see how much better you feel.

To be less depressed and more energized, try this exercise. First, sit on a chair with your back straight and feet flat on the floor. Reach straight up with both hands. Then, inhale deeply. As you hold your breath, squeeze your fists before exhaling slowly. Imagine you are pulling down on rubber bands as you lower your fists to your chest. Now, repeat this a couple more times.

When you’re almost ready to finish, cross your arms over your chest. Rest your fingers on your chest, with your wrists crossed in the middle. Drop your chin to your chest and inhale four short breaths without exhaling. Hold your breath before finally exhaling slowly through your mouth. Then, repeat for a few more minutes.

If this exercise sounds too complicated, you may want to first try basic breathing exercises with a respiratory trainer such as Breathslim®. This handy device can help you pay attention to your breathing and literally change your life for the better.

Four Breathing Exercises for a Calmer, Happier Kid

Breathing exercises for children

Being a kid seems fun and carefree, especially to adults. What grown up doesn’t want to be a kid again? What we don’t remember with our rosy glasses looking back is that there is actually a lot of stress already in that time. Kids act out, they explode, they deal with confusion and social pressures. Conscious breathing has long been a tool for adults to decrease stress, be more mindful, and more creative. Breathing exercises also work for children and gives them a lifelong tool to manage stress and cultivate inner peace.

Conscious breathing takes your out of operating on the sympathetic nervous system, which is the fight or flight response, and into the parasympathetic nervous system, which governs relaxation and receptivity. There are four simple practices that you can teach children, which they can master and graduate to higher level breathing exercise. Take a moment after lunch, while you’re in the car, or before nap time to go through the breathing exercises.

Flower breath

A flower breath consists of breathing in deep through the nose and exhaling from the mouth, as if you’re smelling a flower. You get bonus points for this tension-busting practice if you actually go out and smell the roses.

Hissing breath

This is similar to the flower breath, but drawn out. Breathe in a deep inhale through the nostrils and then exhale from the mouth to create a hissing sound. Extend the exhale as long as possible and slow down the child’s breathing speed for the rapid default pace. This translates to helping the child slow down mentally and physically, being more present in the moment.

Bear breath

The bear breath is perfect for getting ready for nap time as it is meant to reflect a hibernating bear. Breathe in through the nose and pause, and then exhale through the nose as well and pause. Inhaling should last about four seconds with a pause (when you’re all full of breath) for one or two seconds before exhaling for another four seconds. When your lungs are empty, there should be a second or two of pause before inhaling again, and then repeat.

Bunny breath

The bunny breath is the go-to for a fun game. It’s just three quick inhales through the nose, like sniffing, and then one long exhale through the nose. The result looks like a little bunny wiggling his or her nose. This exercise is also good for upset or frightened children who can’t seem to catch their breath. This exercise helps them connect to the exhale and their breathing instead of spinning out.

The Power of Yellow

Yellow fruits and vegetables help improve blood and lymph circulation

Vitamin C is the wonder vitamin of the food world. Two ways to improve blood and lymph circulation are to take on a diet rich in Vitamin C and by further oxygenating your blood. Yellow foods are high in antioxidants, especially vitamin C, and getting more vitamin C is simple because yellow fruits and vegetables are easy to find in the summer months.

To keep your teeth and gums healthy, help heal cuts, prevent inflammation and improve blood circulation grab a yellow fruit or veggie. Vitamin C can be found in lemons, yellow peppers, corn, summer squash, yellow figs, pears and kiwi to help prevent heart disease from better circulation. Don’t forget about pineapple, yellow apples and yellow watermelon!

To oxygenate your blood, the task is to breath deeper. With a respiratory trainer, the act of training your lungs and respiratory muscles to breathe most efficiently, you can increase the oxygen in your blood by 50 percent.  Many conditions are caused by poorly oxygenated blood like dark circles under the eyes, vertigo, varicose veins, blood clots and cold feet and hands. Heart disease and memory loss are a couple of the more threatening conditions that can be avoided by choosing to eat antioxidant rich foods and increasing your blood oxygen level.  A combination of yellow power foods and proper breathing can have a tremendous effect on your respiratory health.

Breathe deep and grab yellow.

Panic attacks and Breathing Exercises

Breathing exercises for panic attacks

You start to lose control of your body, your heart races, your head gets dizzy, and your palms are sweaty – yes, you are having a panic attack. Although the triggers vary greatly from person to person, the symptoms are pretty typical. This intense nervousness makes you become short of breath and even shake. You may feel like you’re having a heart attack, or going crazy – but you’re not. Panic attacks are actually fairly common, with more than six million Americans experiencing panic attacks annually. However, if they are a regular occurrence, you should talk to your doctor about panic disorder.

Did you know that a key component to avoiding and ending a panic attack is your breathing? There are breathing exercises that you can master to regain control of your body and nerves. Most breathing guides tell you to start by taking a deep breath, but at this point your lungs are full of shallow breaths that will only let you take another shallow breath. First, exhale completely. Let all of the air out of your lungs to create room for the new deep breath that you’re about to take.

Shallow breathing also creates the chest pain associated with panic attacks. It’s not your heart that is hurting, but rather the chest muscles. Shallow breathing, especially during a panic attack, also produces the feeling of hyperventilation and the dizziness that comes with it. Deep belly breathing quickly and effectively minimizes the symptoms of a panic attack. Oxygen calms the nerves and relaxes the body, physiologically solving an issue started most likely psychologically.

In order to achieve long-term results and actually decrease the occurrence of panic attacks, not just mediate them when they happen, invest in a respirator trainer, which provides the same physiological, nervous, and psychological benefits as belly breathing, and many more. The best part? Say goodbye to recurring panic attacks.

New App for Respiratory Diagnosis and Training

Not breathing properly? There’s an app for that. BreathResearch Inc. (BRI) has a staff of health practitioners, scientists, and engineers that has developed the MyBreath Lite app (with MyBreath Pro coming soon), which records, evaluates, and trains your breathing.

MyBreath Lite Smartphone App for Respiratory Diagnosis and Training

The free app is an integrated system that screens and optimizes your respiration when at rest or while exercising. To get started you just download the app on your smartphone, follow the prompts, and record your breathing for one to three minutes. The app will give you your BRI score and rate it on a scale from optimal to strained, also denoting the perceived level of stress. There are seven metrics in all, which include: rate, depth, tension, flow, variability, apnea, and cycle. You can also see your inhalation exhalation ratio that reveals if your breaths are balanced.

MyBreath then trains you with an animated guide that also sets up practice sessions and monitors yours goals. Your reward? Feeling wonderful and being healthy… and actual rewards. MyBreath offers a variety of rewards like free gift cards, coupons on healthy foods and drinks, and other discounts on retail items.

Smartphone App for Breath Training and Monitoring

Another component is the Breath Project, which is designed to help you improve your health by understanding the significance of your breathing patterns. You can sign up to receive training tips, exercise plans, updates on its system and other new technologies, and special offers.

 

Download the app and find a new way to commit to preventative health practices, or to remedy an ailment. We have long written about the health benefits of proper breathing and the detriments of shallow, ineffective breathing. The body is a unified system so weak breathing reaches beyond being a “lung problem” and makes itself known in your nervous system, brain function, heart rate, energy, and more. Monitor your breath and train your respiratory system regularly.

 

Why you can’t resist Resistance Breathing

Benefits of Resistance Breathing

If you’re looking for an exercise you can resist, Resistance Breathing is just the thing.

WHO

Whether you’re an athlete, a senior, or someone who suffers from a breathing disorder, millions of people regularly practice Resistance Breathing techniques.

WHY

Resistance Breathing can offer a bounty of benefits:

1. It strengthens the muscles to improve respiratory function with greater lung capacity and oxygen efficiency.

2. It increases energy.

3. It enhances mental focus.

4. It can help reduce stress.

5. It is an integral part of the things you want to try—be it yoga, tai chi, karate, running, rowing, cycling, and especially swimming since it will help you hold your breath for a longer period of time.

WHEN

Only after you check with your physician to see if Resistance Breathing is right for you, will you be ready to begin this empowering breathing technique.

HOW

Purse the lips; place the tip of the tongue against the inside of the upper teeth; hiss through clenched teeth; and tighten the throat muscles. While it’s important to see how quickly you can inhale and exhale fully, it’s even more important that you don’t hyperventilate.  Also, don’t just raise your shoulders and chest, let your abdomen fully expand as you breathe in.

WHAT

If you’re having trouble visualizing or mastering Resistance Breathing, you may want to try a respiratory trainer. Breathslim® is a health and wellness tool that employs the concept of resistance breathing via metered aero-dynamic resistance during 20-minute exercises that should be done everyday—or better yet, every night to ensure a sound sleep and a sound lifestyle.

Breathing Exercises and Parkinson’s Disease

Breathing exercises for Parkinson’s disease

Tremors, shuffling, and being cold are typical symptoms for those diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease (PD). Another common, though overlooked side effect, is problematic breathing which can lead to difficulty swallowing, becoming stressed out, being tired, and getting chest infections such as pneumonia. That’s why breathing exercises are particularly important for people suffering from this chronic, degenerative disease.

If low blood pressure is not an issue, Pranayama breathing techniques are ideal since they can improve autonomic functions, reduce stress, clear the mind and enhance will power. Just sit up straight, inhale slowly through the nose until the abdomen slightly puffs out. Count to five, hold breath for a second and then slowly exhale. Repeat three times.

Another breathing exercise that can be done while sitting requires breathers to put their hands on their lap. Similar to the previous exercise, breathe in slowly through the nose and fill the lungs with air. But this time let the hands rise from the thighs. Hold the breath for a moment like before, then exhale slowly through the mouth. And repeat.

If sitting is not an option, one can breathe deeply by laying down on the back and placing one hand on the abdomen and another on the chest. Inhale slowly through the nose and exhale through the mouth while feeling the abdomen rise and fall as the lungs fill up with air and empty themselves.

Of course those with PD aren’t the only ones in need of breathing exercises. A good way for their caregivers and helpers to get some help is to set aside 20 minutes a day for breathing exercises with a breathing trainer such as a Breathslim® device which can improve lung capacity, oxygenate the body, elevate energy, and help to get relief from stress.