Continue reading to find out how to do it and give it a try.
This breathing technique is a great way of getting back in tune with your body and how you should be breathing. It is also a great way of helping your body function better. Diaphragmatic breathing activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which allows our bodies to go into rest and repair mode — essential for immune function, digestion, restful sleep and a great mood. Try this breathing technique and see how good you feel. It is amazing what changes can happen with some simple breathing exercises.
1. Sitting or lying quietly place one hand on your chest and one on your stomach. If lying make sure your legs are bent slightly.
2. After exhaling through the mouth, take a slow, big breath in through the nose, making sure your stomach expands. Make sure it expands up but also outwards, especially the lower rib cage. This breath should take approximately 3 seconds.
3. Slowly exhale through your mouth for a count of 7-8 seconds, gently contract your stomach muscles to help expel more air.
4. The ideal breathing rate is 6-8 cycles per minute.
5. Practice this at least twice daily for approximately 10-20 breaths. More frequently, you should practice diaphragm breathing for 2-3 breathes each hour (it will be good to do this when you have a short break from all that sitting we do).
Practice this technique and see how you feel after a few weeks. Remember, you need to do something regularly to make it become a habit.
The other important aspect of the Diaphragm that lot of people are not aware of is that it plays an important role in stability of the lower back. Read part 3 in this series to see how the diaphragm and low back stability are linked and how your aerobic fitness plays a role in this. It’s quite interesting.