Instead of our normal healthy food recipe, this month we provide the recipe for a basic, but extremely powerful, autumn breathing exercise to help you avoid lung problems during the winter.
Autumn can be a very drying time for lungs, which makes them more susceptible to winter infections and coughs, but practicing this autumn breathing exercise regularly will strengthen your lungs, increase your metabolism and build immunity, and also help your pores to excrete toxins.
You’ve probably heard of Belly Breathing before, but did you know that it is important to co-ordinate your inhaling and stomach expansion and exhaling with stomach contraction for best results?
- Place one hand on your stomach, and the other on your chest. While doing this breathing exercise your chest should not move, just your belly.
- Inhale deeply and feel your stomach expand like a balloon. Count to 4.
- Exhale and feel your stomach deflate (as though you are letting the air out of a balloon). Count to 4.
- Hold and count to 4.
- Repeat exercise 5 times, 3 times per day.
This maximises your oxygen/carbon-dioxide exchange, not only strengthening your lungs, but also providing greater oxygen flow throughout your body for increased energy and performance as well as greater immunity from infection.
Keeping your chest still as you breathe also reduces tension in your neck and shoulders. You can’t breathe in your upper chest and relax!