It seems so silly that we would have to have a conversation about breathing, but I actually have this conversation almost every day! It turns out that many of us are what I would call "shallow breathers" where we go through the day without taking deep, mindful breaths.
Here is a recap on why deep breathing is important. It helps regulate the nervous system. When you breath deep, you send the message to the brain to "Rest and Digest" which is the opposite of "Fight or Flight" mode. Most of us spend too much time in the "Fight or Flight" mode, which creates increased levels of stress hormone, causes us to store fat, promotes inflammation and reduces the available amount of oxygen in our bodies. This reduced oxygen makes us more acidic which is creates an environment where chronic disease loves to live. Things like cancer thrive in an acidic environment. No good.
I have been using deep breathing exercises with patients for years. It can help reduce anxiety, lower stress levels and provide a much needed increased dose of oxygen. Oxygen is one of the most essential elements on the planet and if you don't have enough, it can be very hard to be as healthy as you want to be.
Recently, I read a book by Wim Hoff which has 3 main principles: 1) Breath Work 2) Cold Immersion and 3) Mindset. I wanted to share the part about Breath work with you. The other 2 topics are great and I will elaborate on them in upcoming blog posts and podcasts, but I wanted to share something you can read in 5 minutes and start doing today! If you are interested in more about his method and reading his book, please check him out at https://www.wimhofmethod.com/science
There is actually a ton of science behind why the breath work and the cold immersion help your body fight disease, feel better and perform better. It goes back to taking stress off the body and reducing inflammation. As a physiology nerd, it really interested me. If that kind of stuff appeals to you, I highly recommend reading his book and getting all the nerdy details. Most of the people I work with, however, are overwhelmed by trying to eat right, exercise, etc. and they just want me to cut to the chase.
So, here it is... Try this for 30 days. It will take you about 11 min. per day. If you have trouble getting moving in the morning, do this when you wake up to energize. If you have a hard time winding down for bed, do this before bed (If you do that, I recommend watching the video to get the point and then doing it without technology right before bed!). Here is the video of Wim Hoff guiding you through 3 rounds of breath training.
As you progress, notice how long you can hold your breathe. When I started, I could go about 30 seconds. Now I can do over 2 minutes on most days. In fact, if you want to try a little trick, take a breathe in and hold. How long did you last? If it's less than 40 seconds you would probably benefit from this. Try it for a month and see how long you can last!
If you have a health challenge that you would like to reach out about, please feel free to schedule a short free call so we can talk to see if we can help you. It's free, there is no obligation and we are here to help!
To your health,