How to breathe to live a healthy life

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When you sleep, most parts of your body get rest, and your brain clears out the trash in your mind for a better function throughout the next day. Your lungs, however, never rest; they work day and night supporting your 17,000-30,000 breaths per day.

   

Breath usually goes unconsciously. But there are some optimal ways that you can consciously follow to make it better.

  

   

Are you breathing wrong?

  

Although you breathe every day, chances are that you are not breathing properly. The American Lung Association (ALA) gives tips on how to breathe.

   

Use your nose

   

You can breathe through your nose or mouth, but your mouth cannot offer an air-filter function which makes air warm and humid as the nose does. Sometimes you have to breathe through the mouth, e.g., when you are doing vigorous exercises, but even in situations like this, breathing in through your nose still helps, especially in a very dry or cold environment.

   

Use your belly

   

Humans are “belly breathers” instead of “chest breathers.” Proper breathing starts in the nose and then moves to the stomach as your breathing muscle diaphragm contracts, making your belly expand and filling your lungs with air. This process can create negative pressure in the chest, which is the most efficient way to breathe.

  

   

Breathe healthily

   

Maintain a healthy lifestyle

    

Regular exercise keeps your lungs functioning well, and a well-balanced diet can help you stay active. Large meals may cause bloating in the abdomen, leading to limitations in the diaphragm’s movement. So better avoid them.

   

Keep it simple

   

Some people may overthink of breathing, which is unnecessary because your body is just built for it. Your respiratory systems know exactly when to change your breathing modes based on your activity. There is no need to be too nervous.

  

   

Monitor the air quality

     

Monitoring the air quality can help limit your exposure to pollutants and allergens that affect breathing. When the air quality is poor, try to avoid outdoor workouts.

   

Breathing exercises

   

By practicing breathing for 5-10 minutes every day, you can improve your lung efficiency.

   

The ALA recommends two breathing exercises.

   

Pursed lip breathing

   

Step 1: Relax your neck and shoulder muscles.

Step 2: Breathe in slowly through your nose.

Step 3: Purse your lips.

Step 4: Exhale slowly through your mouth.

   

Notes:

· Make sure that the time span of breathing out is twice as long as that of breathing in.

       

(Screenshot from the video by American Lung Association)

     

Belly breathing

   

Step 1: Sit down with your hands on belly.

Step 2: Breathe in slowly through your nose.

Step 3: Exhale through pursed lips.

Step 4: Continue for up to ten minutes.

   

Notes:

· Pay attention to how your belly fills up with air by putting your hands lightly on your stomach to feel its rising and falling.

· Breathe out through your mouth at least two to three times as long as your breathing in.

· Make sure you relax your neck and shoulders.

    

(Screenshot from the video by American Lung Association)

     

Using correct breathing techniques can help improve your lung functions and alleviate stress and anxiety – it benefits both physical and mental health. Take a few minutes to practice breathing every day for a better life.

 

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1 Answer

These messages are for mutual support and information sharing only. Always consult your doctor before trying anything you read here.
When I do this why before I finish exhaling do I feel a force to yawn?
maybe you need more rest
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