Breathing – everybody does it approximately 20,000 times a day. But are we doing it properly? Are we giving it the same attention as we do with our skin?
While most of us don’t really give breathing much thought, the way you inhale and exhale have a huge impact on your physical and mental well-being.
One of the most important elements that our body cannot live without is oxygen. A regular person can only endure 3-4 minutes without oxygen (or known medically as anoxia) before he/she will be considered brain-dead. If it exceeds to 5- 6 minutes, this person dies.
Posture is among the aspects that you should look into to optimize your breathing. Why? The way you assume any position can either compress or facilitate expansion of your chest. It is important that you maintain a correct posture to promote a continuous and adequate supply of oxygen to your body. A properly oxygenated body is one happy body.
So, if you are starting to feel a little tired, here are 3 postures that promote breathing to give your cells an oxygen and energy boost.
Sounds easy, right? However, for any regular guy who has been used to the torpid daily living, standing straight equally on both legs even for 5 minutes is quite taxing already.
To prove this, try this position for the whole 15 minutes and notice your breathing. Now, shift your weight to one leg – you’ll notice your breathing has become less than when you’re standing straight. Why? Because you whole body is relaxed on the former, and your muscles don’t have to exert much effort.
The amount of oxygen in you body is relative to the number of your respirations. If you breathe less, your body’s taking in lesser oxygen too.
Sit Up Straight
Whether you’re using a comfortable office chair or a chair for back pain, if you still slouch when you sit then you’re still compromising not only the integrity of your spine but also your breathing.
When you straighten your back, you’re using more chest muscles to hold this upright position. Since this requires exertion, your brain will signal you to breathe for more oxygen. With enough room to expand, your lungs can properly do its function, allowing ample oxygen to revitalize your system.
The opposite happens when you slouch. Aside from using less muscles, your chest is compressed that limits lung expansion. With deficient oxygen in your body, you are more prone to fatigability and other mental changes such as headache or mood swings.
Sleep in Semi-Fowler’s Position
In medicine, the fowler’s position is the standard resting and sleeping position for patients. The head part of the bed is elevated than the rest of the body. This is an intervention used to promote oxygenation especially for patients experiencing respiratory distress.
If your bed, however, doesn’t have the same mechanics as that of a hospital bed, you can support your head with one or two regular pillows, and another one on your back. This will give you a semi inclined head support. You can also put another pillow under your knees to prevent you from sliding down.
Regulating your breathing helps in boosting your performance in any task.So, if you think you have to buy an office chair or other posture support equipment to maintain a position that promote ideal respiration, then do so. Remember, your body is designed to function at its best- you only have to preserve its natural integrity for you to lead a healthier lifestyle and well-being.