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

Blow off holiday stress–literally!

Stressed Businesswoman

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year,” or so says the seasonal song. Yet when winter rolls in, so does holiday stress. That’s what Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research found when they randomly surveyed 786 adults (18-years or older) by phone.

According to the study, 67% of lower-middle income people worry about not having enough money during the holidays with 60% pointing to the stress that the commercialism of the season causes. In fact, 44% feel anxious about the impending credit card debt that accompanies gift-giving.

Examining the figures more closely shows women bare the brunt of holiday angst with 69% stressing over both a lack of money and a lack of time, while 55% of men were bothered over a lack of funds and 63% were stressed by a lack of time. At 51%, more than half of the women surveyed also feel pressure when it comes to gift-giving whereas the task only affects 42% men.

Of course, even at less than half, these numbers are still high. And the situation only becomes compounded by the way in which people go about soothing their stress. According to the study, 43% men and 37% women admitted to drinking more alcohol from Halloween to New Year’s Eve. Worse are the figures for stress and comfort eating during the holidays which affect 80% of women and 79% of men.

Fortunately there is a healthy and cost-efficient way to overcome stress. It’s called breathing deeply! This simple yet effective method can also help battle the bulge that comes with holiday binging. It also can give you more energy to tackle all the extra errands that come with the season.

Although breathing is natural, most people don’t do it correctly. Too often they  take short shallow breaths from the mouth instead of long, deep breaths from the nose that moves the abdomen and fills the  lungs with the oxygen it needs. To help re-learn how to breath (the right way) try Breathslim®. This inexpensive breathing device applies metered aero-dynamic resistance during daily, 20-minute exercises to improve your lung capacity, reduce stress, elevate energy, and help make everyday the most wonderful time of the year.

Quitting Smoking for Real This Time

Quitting smoking health benefits and its withdrawal symptoms

We can talk all day about the incredible benefits of breathing properly and keeping your blood oxygenated and we can tell you about helpful breathing exercises until we’re blue in the face (pun intended), but this means nothing if you’re a smoker. Smoking tobacco is the leading method of destroying your lungs and body, and there is really no way to get around that fact unless you quit smoking.

It is hard to quit because nicotine is addictive and behaves as any other drug would. A smoker feels cravings when the body wants a dose, and it is set off by environmental triggers. Have you noticed that when you get in your car, the first thing you do is roll down window and light up, even though you just had a cigarette on the sidewalk?

There are many different methods to quit smoking and their success rates depend on the person. Some people can quit cold turkey, others like to work with counselors, and some friends make pacts to quit using nicotine gum, patches, etc. One of the most popular methods of quitting smoking is to pick up an e-cigarette.

Some estimate that almost 33 percent of e-cig users are former cigarette smokers. E-cigs can be loaded with tobacco oils that contain nicotine, so it’s more to wean smokers off of the hard tar and chemicals of a traditional cigarette. While this is a bit better, it is not a long term solution as you’re still harming your body. However, there is the vapor option, which allows users to puff on water vapor the way they would a cigarette, which is incredibly helpful to help former smokers break the puffing habit by just puffing on pure water vapor.

Withdrawal symptoms of quitting smoking may include the following:

But those are all temporary and the overall healthy, alter, and proud feeling you gain from quitting lasts a lifetime.

Don’t be afraid—to breath deeply

Halloween Pumpkin On The Beach

Halloween is here, that time of year when ghosts and goblins are celebrated with decorations, costumes, scary stories, horror movies, and haunted houses. Friends may even try to shock you with spiders and snakes and other heart-racing pranks.

While some people get a thrill out of being frightened, many others consider it an unwelcome sensation. When people are afraid, they go into panic mode. This survival instinct magnifies the senses as your mind and body become more attuned to sights, sounds, smells and touch.

Being scared often causes an increased heart rate and rapid, shallow breathing. When your body is charged with anxious energy, you may also feel light-headed, shaky or even sick to your stomach. If this is the case, it’s important to calm yourself in a natural and healthy way.

Start by finding your center. To do this, place both of your hands on your abdomen. Close your eyes and mouth. Relax your jaw and inhale deeply through your nose for five counts. Then exhale for five counts. And repeat. After 10 minutes, you should feel less anxious. After 20 minutes, you’ll feel downright relaxed.

If you need help with these types of exercises, you may want a breathing trainer such as Breathslim. This drug and chemical free breathing aid causes no negative side effects or allergies since it depends on only two elements: water and air. When used for 20 minutes a day, breathing deeply with Breathslim can reduce your anxiety, oxygenate your body, and help chase all the goblins away.

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.