We don’t give much thought to our breathing patterns, as they are automatic (we breathe around 20,000 times a day), but breathing is really important.
It supplies our body with oxygen – including our muscles and brain – which allows them to work at their optimum level.
Unfortunately, most of us only use a third of our breathing capacity, which can often be linked to stress – leading to quicker, shallow breaths being taken.
Breathing patterns should be regular, with slow, deep breaths – helping us to calm down mentally, as well as physically!
Here is a simple exercise to improve your breathing, which can be done on the go, at work or at home:
1) Place one hand on the top of your chest, and one hand on your tummy. When doing the exercise, try to make the hand on your tummy rise first as you breathe in; this will help you to use your diaphragm, which is the main breathing muscle
2) Take a deep breath in through your nose – counting to four during the inhalation
3) Hold in for four seconds
4) Slowly let the breath out through your mouth – counting to four during exhalation
5) Hold for four seconds before repeating
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