Youíre not breathing properly; hereís why it matters

May 16, 2016

Criticizing breathing seems a bit unfair. We shouldnít have to worry about whether we are inhaling and exhaling correctly. It comes naturally, right?

Well, sure. But changing the way we breathe brings added health benefits.

"Breathing is natural, but we rarely get it right," says Elizabeth Peyton-Jones, author of "Cook Yourself Young." She said breathing correctly positively contributes to a personís mental state, which is important to overall health. It helps calm the mind, which can rest the body.

But, itís not easy.

"Breathing, which actually should be quite normal, in fact, is not really normal," Peyton-Jones said.

Whether youíre sitting at a desk, waiting for a bus or relaxing at home, breathing correctly is important.

"People tend to breathe quite shallow," said Peyton-Jones. "Some people hardly breathe at all."

"You actually canít see their chest or their stomach moving, and you donít feel the breath coming out of their mouth" she said. "Itís so shallow Ö itís hardly noticeable."

If youíre not breathing deeply, youíre not getting enough oxygen, she added, and "not pumping oxygen around the body like you should."

When breathing correctly, energy levels are high, and neck and shoulders are relaxed, which can help with digestion, she said.

Picture inhaling and exhaling deeply, watching your belly push itself in and out. This helps you focus on the act of breathing ó and meditation.

Even focusing for just five breaths can lead to improvement.

"If you just concentrate on where youíre getting the breath from, it gets deeper," she said, and that type of dynamic breathing can help with digestion.



McClatchy-Tribune Information Services