Most people don’t think much about
breathing. It just happens, right? Either you’re
breathing and you’re alive, or you’re not breathing.
Actually, there’s a third option – that you are breathing in enough
oxygen to survive, but not as much as you could be.
Oxygen is of course the lifeblood of health. Everything works
better when there is an abundance of it. You can still survive
in less than optimal conditions though.
I remember the last time my family and I went to the Rocky Moutains in
beautiful Colorado. After driving all the way from Illinois,
we finally arrived and were all excited for our first hike.
Surprisingly, after hiking ten minutes, I was feeling pretty
tired. What happened? I thought I was in pretty good
As you probably know, the air is thinner as you get up higher, meaning
that there’s less oxygen to breathe. Receiving less oxygen
than they were used to, my muscles were having a hard time keeping up.
Again, I was surviving, but I wasn’t thriving.
So what if I told you that your poor breathing techniques were
mimicking the effects of Colorado-like air, and you were systematically
robbing your lungs, brain,
and muscles of the oxygen they need to operate optimally.
Here’s two things you can do to increase your oxygen intake.
– Have good posture. Sit up tall with your chest out and your
shoulders back. Think of your lungs as a
balloon. When you have poor, hunched-forward posture, your
ribcage blocks that balloon from inflating fully. Good posture
will allow full inflation.
- Fill up your stomach when you breathe. As you inhale, you
should see your stomach moving out. This is how it’s supposed
If you ever watch a baby breathe while they are lying on the ground,
you will see their stomach moving up and down.
Most people, as they get older, become chest breathers, meaning their
chest rises, but their stomach doesn’t inflate. This is a sign
that you are only filling up your lungs partially, resulting in less
Here’s an exercise for you. Sit up tall, and take a long deep breath in through
the nose. Let your stomach relax and inflate. Then
exhale out your nose. Do this five times.
You can do this several times a day or whenever you think about