6 Reasons to Breathe Deeply
There are many reasons why you should breathe, besides taking on oxygen and expelling carbon dioxide (ie: staying alive). Here are just six reasons to breathe deeply.
1. Creating Healthy, Strong Muscles
Deep breathing helps to enrich the body with oxygen, oxygenating cells in our muscles and other tissues which in turn promotes their healthy growth and function. This does not just include times where the muscles are active. Deep breathing can continue to promote muscle health even in a relaxed state by aiding circulation. Deep breathing also strengthens the respiratory system which can help guard against respiratory illness or disease. Additionally, controlled deep breathing can strengthen and tone the abdomen.
2. Deep Diaphragmatic Breathing Massages Organs
On inhale the diaphragm contracts and pushes down into the abdomen to make room for the filling lungs. If you breathe deeply, the diaphragm can contract to such a degree that it begins to press into the digestive and filter organs of the abdomen, like the stomach, intestines, and pancreas. This simple massaging action helps to remove clogs from the digestive tract and promotes circulation to the vital organs. This ensures the organs are working more efficiently and improving digestion.
3. Breathing Deep can help Alter Your Mood
Go ahead and try it. Take three, slow, deep inhales and exhales. Feeling a little different? The fact is, the benefits of breathing deep on moods and mental health are so well know that doctors, medicine men, and shamans throughout antiquity have used or recommended the use of deep, rhythmic breathing as both a mood altering and mood stabilizing practice. More recently, researchers have discovered a connection between deep breathing and the release of neuro-chemicals in the brain that help elevate mood.
4. Breathe Deeply for Pain Relief
Those same neuro-chemicals which help elevate mood also have a direct effect on our experience of pain. Physicians often instructed suffers of chronic pain to develop a daily practice of pain management that includes breathing deeply. This is due to the effect that a deep breath has on the sympathetic nervous system or “fight or flight response”, which is calmed, reducing pain while lowering heart rate and blood pressure.
5. Deep Breathing Strengthens the Immune System
Oxygen travels through your body by attaching itself to your red blood cells. Oxygenated cells metabolize nutrients and vitamins more efficiently, leading to a stronger immune system and the growth of white blood cells, the body’s primary defence against infectious diseases. Exhaling deeply can also help purge excess carbon dioxide from the body.
6. Breathing Deep Can Help With Weight Loss and Body Sculpting
Beyond the benefits to breathing deep to help build muscle mass, deep breathing can also help burn fat. Oxygen helps the body metabolize fuel and stored body fat. Additionally, habitual deep breathing can help correct the posture and strengthen core muscles. This combination can have an effect on your waistline.
There are many moments in our lives where taking a long deep breath is the best corse of action. Do you know of other benefits? Tell us in the comments below.