Don’t forget the Simple
When jumping into a plan of a healthier life, we tend to overlook the obvious things. One hugely obvious thing that is necessary, no matter what the goal or plan, is oxygen. So important, most of us can’t live more than a few minutes without it. Who said water is the first thing to look for? I need my O2!
Sure, you’ll find it everywhere you’ll find yourself, so it’s not something to search for, but it is something many of us have forgotten how to do properly. Sounds absurd, yes? Maybe so, but still true for many unknowingly stuck in a body of their own making.
- Shallow breathing patterns force secondary respiratory muscles to to be used more predominantly than the diaphragm. When this becomes habitual, overuse of these secondary muscles can cause them to be clenched, increasing tension that could lead to headaches, dizziness, or lightheadedness, and possibly lead to postural imbalances,
- Short, shallow breathes (excessive breathing) can lead to altered carbon dioxide – Oxygen blood content that may create feelings of anxiety that further initiate excessive breathing.
- The respiratory system works directly with your circulatory system to eliminate waste from the bodies cells and tissue. Inadequate oxygen and retention of metabolic waste within the muscle can create fatigued, stiff muscles.
- Improper joint motion of the spine and rib cage, as a result of improper breathing, may cause joints to become stiff and restricted.
- Any of these situation may lead to headaches, feelings of anxiety, poor sleep patterns, and poor circulation.
According to the Pulmonary Education and Research Foundation, pursed lip breathing is a method of slowly breathing in through the nose and blowing out air through the mouth. The method is taught to patients with COPD to help them slow down and concentrate on their breathing. The result is increased levels of oxygen in the bloodstream, requiring less use of accessory muscles.
Try some Yoga, or Tai Chi to get yourself moving in conjunction with your breath. If you’re experiencing heavy symptoms, get to your doctor’s.
More Ways To Fix It
Alkaline diet. Even though there are many conflicting charts and articles online about how to increase body alkalinity through diet, it’s really quite simple. Increase the amount of plant-based foods in your diet and reduce the amount of processed foods and animal-based foods, which are acidifying. If nothing else, increase the amount of dark, leafy green vegetables, such as kale, spinach, Swiss chard, parsley, sprouts, collard greens, and mustard greens, just to name a few. Organic super green supplements that contain chlorella, spirulina, barley grass, and alfalfa grass, in particular, also help to alkalize the body.
Adequate Hydration. Drinking enough water daily is essential not only for the utilization of oxygen in the body but also for transporting the blood and other bodily fluids. Without adequate water, all bodily functions are diminished, including cellular respiration and the removal of toxins and metabolic wastes. Drinking filtered water is necessary to get the full benefits of oxygenation. Restructured or ionized water is micro-clustered (creating smaller groupings of water molecules) and will thus provide higher levels of hydration and oxygenation at the cellular level.
Proper Breathing. Dr. K.P. Buteyko is a physiologist and clinical physician who devoted 50 years of his life to the study of respiration. According to Buteyko, sick people breathe using the upper chest and inhale more air, which causes reduced oxygen levels in body cells. Chest breathing causes us to take in too much air per inhalation and constricts blood vessels. Healthy breathing is slow (about 12 breaths per minute), from the diaphragm (rather than the chest), through the nose (rather than mouth) and is quiet and light. Contrary to popular belief, deep or rapid breathing techniques do not increase oxygenation! See resource below for Dr. Buteyko’s do-it-yourself Body Oxygen Test.
Daily Exercise. Increase aerobic exercise such as walking, hiking or bicycling. Aerobic exercise will help your body utilize oxygen and remove waste through the lymphatic system. Whereas the circulatory system has the heart to pump blood throughout the body, the lymphatic system has no pump. Lymph gets circulated and flushed primarily through movement. Thus, from the standpoint of health and body oxygenation, you would be better off walking for 15 minutes a day rather than spending an hour or more in the gym 2 to 3 times a week. The most effective exercise I have found for flushing lymph is the mini-trampoline (rebounder). Two minutes of rebounding can flush the entire lymph and triple the production of white blood cells – a super immunity booster.
Adequate oxygenation and a healthy body pH are essential to health and vitality. Just a few of the potential benefits of maintaining body oxygenation at a balanced level include: enhanced brain function, stress reduction, increased energy, and a longer and healthier life.
Start with Simple- Just Breathe
No matter who you are, pay attention to your posture, and your breath. Standing and sitting straighter will allow your body to more naturally allow the breath to flow, and more O2 to the cells equals more energy and health. Check this article to see the relationship between higher oxygenated cells and the lowered risk of cancer.
Clark, Sutton, Lucett. NASM Essentials of Personal Fitness Training, ed. fourth. page 66.