…and watch how your body moves to allow for oxygen to enter your system. Does your belly push out? Your lower back press into your chair? Do you shoulders raise up and your neck tighten?
There are many ways in which our body naturally creates pressure changes to get oxygen into (and carbon dioxide out of) our bodies. Sometimes our clients chuckle because they naturally assume that, as long as they are breathing, they are doing okay. True, they are doing okay, but not necessarily doing well. And at Advanced Wellness Centre, in Richmond, VA, we are about wellness.
What we often forget is that breathing entails muscle contractions - contractions which are repeated around 20,000 times per day! If we are not breathing optimally, contracting these core muscles in the most appropriate way given our position, it could make it difficult to move as well as we could. And stretching all day may not be able to ameliorate the muscular imbalances created by this number of contractions.
Along with this, our breathing capacity is correlated closely with our stress levels. Have you noticed that you tend to sigh when you are stressed? This is your body trying to increase CO2 expulsion while vibrating the vagus nerve in the throat, and this can help relax you.
If this one "trick" works unconsciously, imagine if you could learn more ways to purposefully take control of your breathing to reduce stress!
At the Advanced Wellness Centre, our “Move Now” program includes assessment of and education around your breathing strategies, as well as how your breathing could be affecting, or is affected by, your movement habits. Our patients and clients are often able to move better, feel better, and even reduce pain by simply taking a deep (and optimal) breath!
Stay tuned for more breathing tips and strategies, and make an appointment to see a doctor today and get enrolled in our MoveNow program and/or personal training for improved breathing, strength, and movement.