Learning the art of deep breathing can be very useful on a number of different occasions and is known to be calming, to deepen respiratory patterns and to reduce your pulse rate by as much as 10 to 15%.
Throughout the day, you may notice that your breathing changes to reflect your different emotions and how much energy you require. For example, a sigh is a spontaneous cleansing breath while a yawn is an energizing motion.
The advantages of deep belly breathing
If you can learn to develop the regular practice of deep belly breathing, you will be able to avoid stressful situations and daily irritations. On such occasions, this breathing method will leave you with a wonderful sense of calm instead of anger and frustration. You will be more cool, calm and connected.
How can runners benefit?
Runners can really benefit from deep belly breathing to counteract those side stitches or cramping under the rib cage while maximizing oxygen intake to help them perform better.
1. First, you need good upper body form which is achieved by keeping your shoulders relaxed but not slouched. Relieve any tension by dropping the arms and giving them a good shake.
2. Then breathe in through the mouth before pushing your stomach out and at the same time, push down and out with your diaphragm to give your lungs lots of room to expand and draw in oxygen. Your abdomen should be expanding rather than your upper chest – hence the name deep belly breathing.
3. Breathe out slowly and evenly through your mouth.
4. To make sure you are doing this method correctly, pracice while lying down and watch your stomach as you breathe which should be rising and falling with each breath.
Another excellent time to use deep belly breathing is during in a panic attack if you or anyone you know is prone to this.
The exercise set out below is very effective
Th is because it uses your body's natural ability to release the tension in the upper chest. This is done through the use of oxygen with this type of breathing.
1. You must fill your diaphragm with air while putting one hand with your palm down on your stomach and the other palm over your chest.
2. Next you take a deep breath breath through the nostrils for 6 seconds, filling the belly for the 3 seconds, followed by the chest for the last 3 seconds. Exhale through the mouth in reverse by releasing air from the upper chest for 3 seconds, followed by air from the belly for the next 3 seconds. Repeat this for at least a minute or as long as it takes to recover from a stressful situation or actual panic attack. Probably best to practice before you actually need it because then you are ready and prepared.
3. Another method is to lie on the bed and put a weighty book on your stomach, helping you to inhale much more deeply.
For more information on these methods go here.
Breathing can make an immense difference in stamina and energy if it is done correctly and deeply.