Breathing is not something we actively think about. I mean, it is an automatic function of the body that we perform constantly. If we had to consciously think about every breath we took, then we would not be able to get anything done. However, since breathing is one of the main bodily functions responsible for keeping us alive, it does deserve some attention.
Believe it or not, you can actually breath incorrectly. There is a range of breaths per minute you should be breathing at, and if you aren’t falling into that range then it may be affecting your life without you even realizing it. On average, you should inhale between 12 and 20 times a minute at rest, and should increase during physical activity into the 50s range. Getting the proper amount of breaths in allows your body to have proper blood flow, and improves your body’s capacity to carry oxygen throughout. This keeps your cognitive function at optimal levels and maintains healthy muscle function.
If you think your breathing could use some improvement, then you may want to take some time to focus on improving it. By doing so you can boost your energy levels, increase your endurance and reduce your stress. Below are some of the most common breathing mistakes, along with some advice on how to get your breath back on track.
You Are Not Exhaling Deep Enough During Intense Activity
Most of us restrict their breathing when they are exercising. This causes you to become fatigued much faster than you would if you were breathing properly. The main reason this happens is because you tense up your shoulders and face when you are working out, usually into a grimace of sorts, which limits how deeply you are able to exhale. It is also common to hold your breath when lifting weights, causing lightheadedness and elevated blood pressure. By relaxing your shoulders and face you will improve your breathing strategy. Try consciously inhaling through your nose and exhaling out of your mouth.
You Walk Around With Your Stomach Sucked In All Day
Although sucking in your gut will make you look flatter, it also flattens your diaphragm, preventing air from filling up your lungs. This causes shallow breaths and more carbon dioxide inside. By loosening up those core muscles, you will allow more air into your lungs. Taking bigger breathes will slow your heartbeat, lower anxiety and reduce your blood pressure.
You Slouch While You Stare At Your Phone
Slouching compresses your diaphragm, just like sucking in your tummy. The strain from the slouching also adds to more shallow breathes, as well as neck and shoulder pain. When you are on your phone make a conscious effort to sit or stand with proper posture. Holding your phone up to your face, instead of bringing your body down to your phone will improve your breathing ability.
This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of The Joint Corp (or its franchisees and affiliates). You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.