An Ab Breathing Exercise
That Energizes, Relaxes
and Boosts Blood Flow
This ab breathing exercise
is your key to proper, healthy breathing. Abdominal breathing utilizes your diaphragm and benefits your entire lungs and abdominal area
. Consequently, it improves your overall health. How? During slow, deep ab breathing exercises, your diaphragm
(a muscular membrane separating the lungs and stomach) moves up and down like a pump. The result is a stimulating massage
of your abdominal organs and increased blood circulation
In busy, stressful situations your breathing changes...from a relatively even and moderate rate to erratic and fast. Slow, deep abdominal breathing calms and relaxes you. Shallow breathers (typically smokers, sedentary, overworked & stressed people) tend to breath into the upper part of their lungs only. Their diaphragm does little work and their lower lungs, which contain the greatest surface area and can therefore absorb more oxygen, are under utilized.
Shallow, incomplete breathing can result in lethargy, poor circulation, anxiety and other problems. Unfortunately, most shallow breathers don't realize this. They assume that, as breathing is automatic we naturally do it the right way. We do...as babies. Watch how a baby breathes. Its abdomen rises and falls with each in/out breath; its lower lungs & diaphragm utilized. Life changes this though. Stress, overwork, pollution, sedentary lifestyles and other factorscontribute to poor breathing. Fortunately, correct breathing can be (re)learned.
Ab Breathing Exercise
This ab breathing exercise can be done standing, sitting or lying down. Find a quiet place outside that's not too windy,
or somewhere inside with good ventilation.
1. Loosen any restrictive clothing, such as tight pants and belts.
Stand with your feet about shoulder width
apart. Bend your legs slightly and sink your weight into them. Keep your back straight.
Or sit with a straight back on a firm but comfortable chair or lie down in bed or on the floor.
your right hand on your abdomen just below your belly button and your left hand on top of your right hand.
2. Exhale forcefully through your mouth to empty your lungs.
Immediately inhale through
your nose as you gently push your abdomen out. Your hands should move outwards as your
DON'T push your abdomen out as far as you can (no need to encourage a pot belly!).
Inhale till your lungs are about 2/3 full only.
3. Exhale through your nose as your abdomen contracts. Your hands will move inwards
as you do so.
When your lungs are empty, pause for as long as is comfortable, then begin inhaling again.
Do 10-12 inhalations/exhalations.
Notice your abdomen expanding and contracting as you breathe in and out.
As you exhale the
final time gently drop your hands to your sides (or on to your lap if you are sitting).
4. Do a couple more with your arms hanging loosely by your sides (or on your lap if you are sitting, or by your sides if you are lying down).
Does your abdomen
automatically expand as you breathe in and contract as you breathe out? Probably not, especially if you've
been a shallow breather for years.
means you need to practice with your hands on your abdomen until abdominal expansion/contraction
Practice daily, morning and night. Eventually you'll automatically breathe this
Benefits of slow, deep diaphragmatic or ab breathing exercises:
- Increase oxygen intake
- Stimulate your abdominal organs
- Boost blood flow
- Take stress off your heart
- Breathe SLOWLY and EVENLY throughout the exercise
- The standing position encourages greatest blood circulation
- Next time you're emotionally stressed notice how it affects your breathing rate and depth, then spend a few minutes doing slow, deep abdominal breathing and check again - your breathing should be deeper and more even and you should feel better
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Ab Breathing Exercise