Learning from an early age how to breathe well is important. Air is nutrient number one for us to survive.
Start exercising at any age, as it is better later than never. You will need some effort and concentration in the beginning. But once the right connections form on your brain, healthy breathing movements turn into routine. You will breathe well in a reflex manner.
Breathe well to function properly
The respiratory system works like a power plant integrated in the whole network of factories and plants that compose the body. Without energy, no organ would be able to live, let alone function properly. The more energy it gets the better it will work. So breathe well to function at your best capacity.
Remember how you feel when you fill your lungs with pure fresh air? Invigorated, more confident, OPTIMISTIC. The sensation of lust for life sets the entire you into motion. You’ve just got charged with fuel.
Correct recharging maintains a state of health, where each component of a system gets what it needs to fulfill nature’s design. Hence our optimism, a mark of well-being.
How breathing works
Physiologically, the human body needs three different fuels: AIR, WATER and FOOD. When lacking vitality, you need them in this order of urgency.
Of the air we take in through inhalation, it is oxygen our body needs. Oxygen burns the nutrients resulted from digestion, basically glucose, to release energy.
This reaction takes place at the level of each cell in the body once a new charge of oxygen is transported to it from the lungs, by means of blood.
The waste product of this chemical reaction is carbon dioxide, which travels with blood cells back to the lungs. The gas exchange occurs at the level of tiny vessels called capillaries that surround each alveolus in the lungs.
These vessels are connected to the heart and, through it, to the whole circulatory system. Thus the oxygen-rich blood is carried to all body cells, while the deoxygenated blood is carried back to the lung alveoli.
The carbon dioxide passes from the capillaries into the air in the alveoli, so we eliminate air laden with carbon dioxide through exhalation.
The air we breathe in is about 20 percent oxygen, and the air we breathe out is about 15 percent oxygen, the rest of 5 percent being the waste product, carbon dioxide.
Strive for better health
You enjoy good health. Great. But is health the same when you are 10 or 40?
No. Health is defined by a time coordinate. Then think how many variables influence it.
So don’t be complacent. Aspire to your organism’s initial perfect design to keep one step ahead of hazard. Strive for better health on a constant basis.
How I breathe well
One way to maintain youthful vigor is to perfect breathing.
Even if with practice proper breathing becomes routine, refreshing this routine by modeling the good practice is helpful. So, I re-train myself to breathe well. With each session, I gain ease of the respiratory mechanics.
I follow the good model on purpose when I need to relax or get clarity of mind.
On a regular basis, I use this deep breathing technique first thing in the morning and also before and while exercising.
To fall asleep faster and more easily, this way of breathing always accompanies a tapping process for good sleep. Tapping, or EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) can help balance the body’s energies.
My good model
I visualize my lungs and imagine they are two flexible containers that, as I breathe in slowly, receive air starting with the bottom. Layer after layer of oxygenated gas goes up filling them till air reaches the top of each lung concomitantly. I must feel air has nowhere else to go.
With lungs full to the brim, I count to two, sometimes to three or more, imagining they are so inflated their upper tips meet at a point at the base of my throat.
During these two or three seconds I imagine oxygen rushing into the blood in the lungs. The mind picture of purified blood infusing oxygen into all my cells pervades for this while.
Then I start letting the air out, layer after layer beginning with the upper ones, till the diaphragm pushes out the last drop at the bottom.
I relax while I count to two and start the whole process all over again.
Depending on a particular purpose, I may repeat the process a number of times. If nervous or stressed, for example, or when I tap into sleeping, I insist till I reach complete relaxation — usually four-five times. Remember, not even with good things should you exaggerate.
Sure, there are a number of factors that enable and sustain proper breathing. Here are some: a healthy respiratory system, purity of the air in the surrounding atmosphere, correct body posture while walking, exercising or sitting and regular physical exercise.
But start with factor #1: a good understanding of how your body works and what it needs.
To your healthy breathing!