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

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.

Athletes, Increase Your Endurance!

How athletes can increase endurance

Runners, bikers and swimmers – surely you have noticed when you are running harder, or for an extended period of time, your leg muscles become fatigued. However, it’s not necessarily your leg muscles that are the first to become strained. When you run, bike and swim, it is more likely that your respiratory muscles are the first to become tired. It is important to remember that respiratory muscles are just as susceptible to overexertion as your body’s other muscles.

While you’re running and you feel your legs become fatigued, this is because the nervous system has redirected oxygen delivery to your respiratory muscles to keep them going and to not allow them to become fatigued to a dangerous extent. When your limb muscles do not have enough oxygen, they become tired and start to feel limp and heavy.

To increase your respiratory muscle endurance, you can train the muscles with deeper breathing to strengthen them. They can be trained separately from the rest of your body. Using a respiratory trainer like Breathslim, you’ll use your respiratory muscles at a higher capacity, sometimes even more than when you’re actually running, biking or swimming. Without the rest of your body needing excessive oxygen, the tool helps strengthen in the chest cavity.

With stronger respiratory muscles, your endurance and athletic performance will take off.

High Altitudes. High Risk.

Breathing at high altitudes

If you want to visit the mountains of, say, Colorado for a hiking trip, the altitude’s affect on your body is a necessary consideration. Though most of the Western part of the United States is above sea level, in the mountains you may experience what is considered high altitude, higher than 5,000 feet, or very high altitude above, which is 11,500 feet above sea level. At these levels, noticeable changes will take place in the body.

The air pressure is the same at sea level as at high altitudes, but the oxygen molecules are more dispersed in the air the higher you ascend so there is less oxygen taken in on each breath. Your body will start to create more red blood cells because they are the cells that carry oxygen throughout the blood. Visitors to high altitudes often develop AMS, an acute mountain sickness that can be avoided and usually goes away within a couple of days. Symptoms can include nausea, headache, trouble sleeping and breathing faster and deeper to try to pull in more oxygen. Two other conditions that can strike anyone at a high altitude whether fit or unfit is called high altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE) and high altitude cerebral edema (HACE). These conditions can be life threatening.

There are ways to enjoy the beauty of the mountains while doing your best to avoid becoming ill. There is a saying, “Climb high, sleep low.” Go to a lower altitude to sleep to avoid oxygen loss. Next, drink up! Staying hydrated is very important. At higher altitudes your body loses fluids faster because of the decreased humidity and increased urination. The body will make up for fluid loss by storing water and sodium which can result in fluid entering the body tissue and cause swelling of the feet, hands and face. Avoid drinking alcohol and caffeinated drinks that dehydrate the body. Nausea is common at high altitudes, but REI says that eating can actually reverse those green feelings. If you are to experience nausea, headache, feeling disoriented, dizzy or develop a persistent cough, descend immediately to a lower altitude.

Breathing deeply to get more oxygen into the blood on each breath will reduce the pressure on your body to compensate for the lack of oxygen at high altitudes. Try using a respiratory trainer. Breathslim will help you take in more oxygen on each breath, something that our bodies desperately need when up in the mountains.

Always remain observant of how your body is responding to altitude changes. Breathing with Breathslim will deliver more oxygen to the blood, but altitude sickness can still occur.

Breathing for Singers

Breathing tips for singers

Singers, both advanced and novice are taught how to properly breathe to “support the tone” and use the diaphragm. However, as it turns out many vocal coaches do not fully understand the body’s physiological uses of its muscles and organs, and hence student singers learn the wrong techniques.

Vocal technique instructor Karyn O’Connor knows the science behind proper breathing and understands how this affects the unique breathing that takes place during singing. She thoroughly outlines this on her website, singwise.com, but I’m going to give you a quick synopsis so you can utilize the respiratory muscles to optimize your vocals.

Controlled breathing is the key. During speaking we tend to breathe in shallow, even breaths. This works decently for its purpose, which is getting about 5 percent of oxygen into the blood on each breath, but it is absolutely not efficient for a singer. O’Connor says that during singing, “we need to inhale quickly and deeply, then exhale slowly and steadily in a long breath.” Singers must train the respiratory muscles to be able to maintain control throughout the process. The muscles in the abdomen are a major contributor to your control. To extend how long you can exhale, you have to keep your sternum raised for as long as possible without raising your shoulders or clavicle.

Supporting the tone can mean very little to singers unless it is fully understood. A part of this is contracting the abdominal muscles so there is more pressure in the abdomen and thorax. Then the diaphragm will rise. O’Connor tells singers to focus their breathing in the soft space between the ribs, below the diaphragm because it allows for the complete filling of the lungs.

During sleep, we breathe the most naturally. Our abdomens rise without the movement of the shoulders or clavicle. If a singer allows his or her chest to rise on when inhaling, the sternum collapses, there is disconnect between the upper and lower muscles in the torso and the lower lobes of the lungs are cut off and not able to fill. That means a shallow breath on the exhale.

Improper breathing feels unnatural, but when we are taught the wrong method we can retrain our bodies to do it right. If you sing with the use of inefficient breathing, you can retrain your lungs with the correct techniques.

Five Best Physically Demanding Summer Vacations

Forget the all-inclusive resorts and swimming pools full of chlorine. Here are five physically demanding vacations full of exploration and adventure. These invigorating activities will get your heart pounding and lungs breathing deep.

1.Great Barrier Reef Australia

Visit one of the world’s natural wonders for some of the best scuba diving in the world. Beginning and experienced divers are all welcome. According to greatbarrierreef.org, a trip here will allow you to experience the “largest collection of corals- around 400 different types, coralsponges, mollusks, rays, dolphins, over 1,500 species of tropical fish, more than 200 types of birds, around 20 types of reptiles including sea turtles and giant clams over 120 years old.”Traveling from mainland Australia and the islands to the reef is super easy. All major cities and towns along the coast and islands make daily trips to the reef by luxury cruisers and sailboat. Depending on your skill level, divers have the option of diving in shallow spots, gentle areas rich in fish and coral for beginners or in outer reefs for more experienced divers.

2.Safari in Kenya with Journeys by Design

Journeys by Design is a UK company that does excellent, custom African travel tours. They work closely with tribal communities such as the Masai and Samburu offering visitors an authentic experience and benefitting locals. In an 11-day trip you’ll ride camels and walk through African tribal villages, catch wildlife at a watering hole and Picnic at OlLolokwe Mountain. The mountain is believed to be the residence of the gods by the Masai people. You’ll experience a hike through the Matthews Range that elephants and leopards call their home. Last is a visit to the “singing wells” to witness chanting Samburu warriors cascade up to 32 feet down into wells to fills water vessels for their cattle.

3. South Island of New Zealand

Mountain Travel Sobek offers a wide range of adventurous tours in all seven continents, but our pick is New Zealand: Southern Beauty. This trip includes exploration of the south island’s mountain, hiking the fjords of Milford Sound and sea kayaking. Visitors will see the deep blue lakes of the Wakatipi Basin that was made famous by the Lord of the Rings films. The trip is designed to minimize driving to really display New Zealand’s intense natural beauty. The new, exclusive selected lodge where you’ll stay is only accessible by a 4×4 vehicle.

4. Machu Picchu

Visit the great urban Inca creation with REI that is enfolded between the Peruvian Andes and the Amazon basin. Hike to what is one of the most applauded architectural developments and the most spectacular of agricultural achievements of the Incan civilization. REI hosts a seven-day tour allowing you to follow in the footsteps of the Inca people. It includes an exploration of South America’s oldest continually inhabited city Cusco, visiting the Pisac ruins, a guided tour of Machu Picchu and views of it from surrounding mountains. Last is a return to Cusco. Each day you’ll hike a glorious two to seven miles to get your heart pumping.

5. Greek Islands

For an active family in for some hiking, swimming and kayaking, head to Athens and the Greek Islands with REI on their Greek Islands Family Adventure. Athens is a city to see by foot. The trip starts with a walking tour of Athens’ historic Plaka, a market area bustling with local Greeks and an exploration of the ancient Acropolis. Soon after you’ll be on a hide speed ferry to Mykonos Island to swim at the beach and hike at the mythical birthplace of Apollo, the Greek god of music. Next you’ll kayak around Santorini, swim in warm volcanic waters and hike to ancient Thira. On this seven-day excursion, you will be immersed in Greek culture and enjoy physical and adventurous activities each day.

Breathing 101

Proper breathing tips!

You are what you breathe
If you’re taking shallow short breaths, you’ll be short on energy and short on patience since poor breathing leads to stress and depression among other unwanted side effects. But if you learn how to breathe properly by taking long deep breaths, you’ll receive a long list of health benefits such as deeper sleep, less stress, greater energy, weight loss, and more.

Let the breaths begin
Sit with your back straight and hands in your lap. Before you take in a deep breath, envision your breath moving down and expanding into your body in the shape of a bell, flaring and pushing down and outward into your abdomen in all directions. Got it?

The glass is half full—of air
Now inhale slowly and deeply for a count of three. Think of your lungs as an empty glass that will be filled with the invisible air you breathe in. Once the imaginary glass is filled with air, pause, and then slowly exhale for three seconds. As you empty your lungs, make sure to use your abdominal muscles to squeeze out all of the air. Now pause for a second, and repeat again.

Healthy habit
If you begin to make this a regular part of your day, you’ll feel an improvement in both your physical and mental health. Of course adopting a new habit isn’t always easy so you’ll have to make a concerted effort to incorporate this into your daily routine. Just set aside five uninterrupted minutes—be it in the morning, on a mid-day break or before bed— when you can sit with your eyes closed and mind focused. Then visualize that bell, that glass, and the newer, healthier you!

Breathing buddy
Once you’re ready to up your breathing exercises from five minutes a day to 20 minutes, check out Breathslim®. The breathing trainer device applies metered aero-dynamic resistance to help improve lung capacity, elevate energy, reduce stress with stress relievers, and oxygenate your body when used during daily, 20-minute exercises.

Stress sucks and needs to be fixed

Stress – Why it is harmful and how to reduce it.

We know that stress causes a whole slew of health problems, and it seems that weight gain is of concern to no end. Proper deep breathing can reduce stress and weight gain, and the best part is that it’s easy to do!

When we’re stressed our bodies produce a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol signals to the liver to make more glucose. If it is not used, that sugar will be reabsorbed by the body. With stress, our metabolism is lowered and with excess sugar in the body, there is weight gain.

So stop the stress! I know, stress-causing situations cannot always be eliminated in our daily lives, but adding a practice of guided, deep breathing can be a personal helper in cutting stress.

Breathslim is a respiratory trainer that increases oxygen intake from 5% to 10% in each inhale and fights the stress and its effects. It trains your body to breath deeper and experience the benefits.

In a three-month study done by the University of Southern California, Breathslim was clinically tested and found to help burn fat. The breath trainer tool aids in taking in more oxygen from the air you breath by helping you breathe deeper. With increased oxygen in your blood, fat is burned through the process of oxidation and increased ATPmore energy. Having more oxygen allows these metabolic processes to take place faster- a higher metabolism. It was also found that people experienced better sleep. Another win!

The usual intake of 5% oxygen from every inhale results in fatigue and stress. Deep breathing does the opposite. Stress is reduced, you will burn more fat cells and will be more alert during the day from better sleep quality. It doesn’t get any easier than that.