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

Breathing exercises to power your run (and legs)

Pilates cross-training exercise - The Hundred

Oxygen fuels are bodies just as food does. How often have you found yourself thinking that if only you could get more air faster, you’d be able to power up a hill in a jog, or at least maintain pace? While most runners focus on training their legs and heart, few pay attention to the benefits that respiratory training can have on endurance and overall performance. After all, better breathing means more oxygen for your muscles.

Scientists at Brunel University in England recently found that marathoners’ fatigue levels and breathing. The runners whose breathing was most strained were found to have the most leg weakness. This led the team to conclude that respiratory muscles power the legs. The key? Deep breathing. Below are three pilates cross-training exercises to minimize the panting and maximize the power.

The Hundred

Lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Keep your arms at your sides, palms down. Inhale and lift your head, neck, shoulders, and arms off the ground as much as you can. Lift your knees and pull your feet out in front of you so that your legs are straight and at a 45-degree angle to the floor. Take five short breaths in and five short breaths out while pumping your arms, moving them in small circles. Do a cycle of 10 full breaths, which is comprised of five inhales and five exhales. By the time that you do 10 complete breaths, you should have also completed 100 arm pumps.

Pilates cross-training exercise - The Hundred

The Swan

Lie face down with your palms flat under your shoulders (as if you were going to do a pushup). Look down so your neck is in line with your spine and inhale while slowly lifting your head, neck, shoulders, and chest as you press your hands into the ground. This is almost like a pushup except that you keep your legs flat on the ground. Keep a slight bend in your elbows. As you exhale, slowly lower yourself back down chest first, then the shoulders, neck, chin, and head. To avoid discomfort or pain in your back and neck, pull your shoulders back to open up your chest. Repeat the up and down 10 times

Pilates cross-training exercise - The Swan

Standing Chest Expansion

Stand up straight with your feet shoulder-width apart, your knees slightly bent, and your arms at your sides. Inhale and lift your arms up and out so that your biceps are near your ears and your palms are facing each other (touchdown stance). Exhale and lower your arms back down to your sides. Repeat four times, concentrating on deep breathing and opening up your chest.

Pilates cross-training exercise - Standing Chest Expansion

The Future of Breathing Oxygen Crystals

Oxygen Crystal Breathing

Of all the places you might think of to catch a deep breath, underwater is probably not one of them. However, recent news reports say that scientists at the University of Southern Denmark have created crystals that may allow people to breath underwater. The scientists have said that they developed “crystalline materials that can bind and store oxygen in high concentrations.”

Just a couple “crystal” grains have enough oxygen for a whole breath and it can absorb oxygen from the water around you so you can breathe it in. The so-called “Aquaman Crystal” is like an oxygen tank, but small, light crystals that last a lot longer. Think of them as small sponges that suck up oxygen instead of water.

Although the technology is surprising and exciting, this development is only the beginning of using this science to dive under water. For one, people drink a combination of gases, the majority of which is oxygen. Also, these crystals don’t account for the drastic pressure changes as divers go deeper. In addition to being of interest to divers, this technology can make a world of a difference to asthmatics, lung cancer patients, and others who will benefit from having a pocket full of oxygen in the form of crystals instead of an oxygen tank.

Laughter Breathing Is As Strange And Fun As It Sounds

Learn the techniques of Laughter Breathing Exercises

Many people think of breathing as just inhaling and exhaling in rhythm, and most people don’t think of breathing at all. There are many different styles of breathing and breathing exercises that have a unique effect on the body. The way you breath and the kind of exercises that you do, or don’t do, have a large impact on your day-to-day life in ways you probably don’t realize. You may deal with stress, exhaustion, and lack of focus and just attribute it to everyday life in a busy world. This may be true to an extent, but there are ways to decrease the influence it has on your life and wellbeing by incorporating breathing exercises like laughter breathing into your daily routine.

Laughter breathing is a growing trend with laughter yoga classes sprouting up as well. These work best in a group so call some friends over to give this a shot.

Meringue Hips Laughter

Move your hips left to right in sets of two – 1, 2 – 1, 2. Walk around with your “meringue hips” and big a friend a light hip-check and let out a deep belly laugh.

Bowing Elbow Greeting

Bend your arms up in front of you with elbows pointing out from your shoulders. Make your elbows bow to others and give a big laugh.

Sumo Wrestler

As you take deep, slow breaths, connect with a partner from across the room and walk over in a mimicked stomp, as if you’re a heavy sumo wrestler.

Best Rated Apps to Reduce Stress

Breath training smartphone apps to aid in stress relief

It’s normal to carry stress with you everywhere you go – “I’m stressed” is the new standard. Luckily, you can also carry a little stress relief in your pocket. We won’t lecture you on the dangers of stress because getting rid of it is easier said than done. However, you have tools at your disposal to help you. Shortly nightly breathing exercises with the Breathslim respiratory trainer and these free smartphone apps can have you relaxed and calm in no time.

Relax Melodies

To prevent the never ending stress cycle caused by not getting enough sleep, Relax Melodies creates a calm environment with soothing sounds to help you fall asleep. There are 50 sounds to choose from and a timer to shut it all off. The app also has an alarm to wake you up for a great day. This app has a 4-star rating from nearly 34,000 iPhone users and 4.4 stars from 47,000 Android users.

Anxiety Free

This app provides hypnosis on the go by sending your brain subliminal messages. These messages communicate with your subconscious and are supposed to have the same effect as meditation. The goal of the app is to help you practice and master self-hypnosis. More than 500 iPhone users have given Anxiety Free 4 stars.

Qi Gong Meditation Relaxation

Dr. Monica Frank, a psychologist with more than 20 years of experience, has created this app to connect users with a library of relaxation videos based on Qi Gong. This is a traditional Chinese health systems that focuses on the connection between posture, breathing, and the mind in an effort to release anxiety. This Android app has earned 4.2 stars with 757 ratings.

Worry Box

Worry Box lets you put all your fears and worries into a little box… inside of a little box in your pocket. The app is like a journal where you can write your thoughts and worries, and then think it all through. Worry Box asks questions and providing tips on reducing anxiety. Best of all, it’s password protected.

Wellness Week Leads to Healthy Living Year-Round

National Wellness Week launched in America focusing on healthy living habits

In an effort to encourage living well, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration launched National Wellness Week in September. The campaign collides with National Recovery Month which has promoted the benefits of prevention, treatment, and recovery for 25 years. Like Recovery Month, National Wellness Week shows how healthy habits can improve one’s physical, emotional, and spiritual state.

To spread the message across the country, the Star Center hosted free webinars on Collaborative Leadership, The Life Changing Power of Self Directed Care and Peer Support, while individual states participated with the local level with their own events.

West Coast Wellness

In Arizona, residents enjoyed farmers’ market and wellness activities in Apache Junction as a recovery and wellness community forum took place in Tucson. Wellness mentoring, free yoga, chair massages and other giveaways abounded across California.

East Coast Wellness

Washington D.C. let loose with free Zumba classes as well as offering local strategies for improving blood pressure control. In Connecticut, a walking club motivated exercise in the Norwich’s Mohegan Park, while those in Baltimore, Maryland celebrated with a flash-mob for mental health awareness.

Southern Wellness

During National Wellness Week, the 2014 National Peer Support Conference took place in Atlanta as well as Reiki healing sessions for children and adults. At the same time, wellness pros flocked to an Annual Meeting & Exposition in New Orleans.

Midwest Wellness

In Chicago, the 5th Annual Executive Forum on Creating a Culture of Health & Wellness was hosted at Hyatt Regency McCormick Place, as neighbors enjoyed NAMI walks in Little Rock, Arkansas; Boise, Idaho; Davenport and Iowa City, Iowa.

Of course, practicing healthy habits can be done anywhere—and at any time. It need not be restricted to seven days a year. Walks can be taken during the warmer weather and breathing exercises can be performed indoors no matter the season, climate, or an individual’s level of physical strength.

The simple act of deep breathing can help people recover from depression and anxiety but since most Americans take shallow breaths, they need to retrain themselves to breathe in a healthier manner. The respiratory trainer from Breathslim® is a health and wellness tool that uses metered aero-dynamic resistance. When used during daily, 20 minute exercises, it can improve lung capacity, elevate energy, reduce stress, and oxygenate your body.

Respiratory Illness Grips the United States

Respiratory illness in the United States and how to prevent it

Autumn hasn’t come in full strength yet, but there is already an illness sweeping the United States. More than 20 states have reported cases of respiratory illness, some of which have required children to be sent to the hospital. In Kansas City, Missouri alone, more than 300 cases of respiratory illness were reported in August, 15 percent of which placed children in the ICU. From mid-August to September 19, 2014, there were 160 confirmed cases in 22 states.

The disease is enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) and there are reported cases throughout the country, especially in the Midwest. It mostly affects children and the symptoms are similar to those of an intense cold, and can be easy to miss. The treatment is also a lot like treating a heavy cold.

In addition to not spending time with people that are sick, the best way to avoid respiratory illness is to wash your hands often and avoid sharing utensils with someone who has contracted a respiratory illness – this includes towels. The disease is passed through respiratory fluids, particularly saliva and snot, so it passes from person to person through a cough or sneeze. It also transferred on shared surfaces so make it a habit not to touch your face during this season.

There isn’t a vaccine for EV-D68 and most cases people won’t even know that they have the virus and will think that it’s just a severe cold instead. What worries doctors is that an infection in the respiratory tract can restrict airways and cause breathing difficulty and wheezing. Children with asthma are particularly susceptible.

Help your family avoid respiratory illness with meticulous hygiene and strengthening their respiratory tract. Conducting breathing exercises can make your kids more relaxed and provides a wealth of health benefits, the most important of which is strengthening the lungs.

How to Have Clean Indoor Air this Autumn

How to have clean indoor air in autumn for better breathing and healthy living

With summer wrapping up, you’re going to spending a lot more time indoors. Sweater weather is lovely, but often doesn’t allow laying in the park all day like in the summer. It’s a cozy time, but the increase in airborne pollutants indoors versus outdoors isn’t as appealing. Factors like air circulation and moisture impacts air quality, but there are simple steps you can take to keep your family healthy and breathing clean air through the fall and winter.

Firstly, make sure to clean and replace filters in your air conditioning and heating units. Clean and efficient fans and filters in furnaces, dehumidifiers, and other appliance function optimally and reduce moisture in the home. You should also make sure that air vents between the inside of your home and outdoors is clean for dirt and debris and do an overall autumn cleaning.

Dust collects all over your home and circulates through the air, which you then inhale. Reducing dust that collects can make the air feel fresher, so vacuum the rear grills on your fridge. Be diligent about cleaning drip trays and fixing leaks, as this will prevent mold. Clear out your clothes dryer ducts and vents. Or give yourself a treat and hire some elbow grease.

When temperatures drop and the air becomes dry, invest in a humidifier. In addition to keeping your skin looking good, air with the right amount of moisture is beneficial for the lungs and feels better. This will also help you have a deep sleep with more energized mornings.

Get in on the Breathslim Buzz

woman telling secrets, pop art retro style illustration

Oscar Wilde once said, “The only thing worse than being talked about, is not being talked about” so clearly the folks at Breathslim® must be pleased their respiratory trainer is creating a buzz from websites such as Dude I Want That.

Known as a geek’s gift guide to gadgets, gear and novelties, Dude I Want That reports, “On the one hand, the Breathslim apparatus looks ridiculous. Like something the infirm folk would be required to use from a hospital bed or nursing home…On the other hand, Breathslim reviews aren’t bad.”

It’s true! The Max Fitness site confirms Breathslim is an effective way to combat insomnia and get a better, deeper sleep in general. “It was hard to get used to breathing with the stomach muscles and I had to consciously focus on inhaling and exhaling to ensure that my chest did not move,” reports Max Frankel. “After a few minutes, this new way of breathing became a decently natural process; while doing work on my laptop I had barely even noticed that this wired white hose was hanging out of my mouth! After 5 to 10 minutes, I began to feel a deep relaxation, a serious ‘wow’ moment. I turned to my girlfriend and told her that I felt like I had taken a sleeping pill. My mood was pleasant, I was drowsy, and before I knew it I was fast asleep with the Breathslim lying on the bed!”

Acupuncturist author Dr. Mark Sircus, Ac., OMD, DM (P) says doing breathing exercises with Breathslim can also benefit asthma sufferers as well as those seeking to lose weight, explaining, “This is the machine to use for your breathing retaining and it really is quite nice to blow bubbles as one increase the oxygenation of one’s cells and tissues…created to help asthma sufferers the Breathslim breathing device is serious medicine. Sold in the United States it is now being marketed for weight loss because it increased oxygen and metabolism to a significant enough level as to burn more fat thus helping to lose weight and keep it off.”

Internationally renowned scientist, writer and breathing trainer Artour Rakhimov, PhD adds, “If we practice continuously for, let’s say 15 to 20 minutes, our breathing pattern will be changed because the breathing center is going to adapt to higher CO2 levels. At once we finish the exercises there is a noticeable effect: breathing becomes slower and lighter; and that effect is going to last for many hours.” Yet the breathing expert suggests Breathslim may not help sleepers who breath through their mouths, nor will it result in weight loss without users adding additional exercise and other healthy habits to their lifestyle.

The review at Normal Breathing concurs, stating, “In order to achieve certain success with Breathslim, one needs to increase his or her morning body-oxygen levels. Correction of lifestyle risk factors is necessary for a more efficient breath-changing and life-changing project. Obviously, following two central rules of the Buteyko method (eat only when you are hungry and stop eating at the first signs of satiety) are also important for Breathslim to work.”

Of course, there’s no way to know if Breathslim can help you lose weight, gain sleep gain, renew energy or obtain a youthful glow unless you try it for yourself. The inexpensive drug and chemical free respiratory trainer is available at http://www.breathslim.com/buy_now/.