Slow down and BREATHE...

As the cool air settles in for the fall season, we seem to appreciate the beauty of nature slowing down a bit.

Fall brings a fresh and unique opportunity to practice something that we all do nearly 20,000 times a day- BREATHING.

Our lives are inherently tied into just that-breathing.

It is what we do first when we are born and the final act before life ceases. Shouldn't it be something we practice daily?

Have you ever taken the time to watch yourself breathe? 

The act of inhaling and exhaling harnesses powers that you could never imagine! 

Breathing too fast or shallow can actually inhibit the body's ability to deliver enough blood to the heart. As the powerhouses of blood flow, the heart and lungs work closely together to determine the pace and rhythm of your heartbeat. That blood flow keeps our organs working properly-and our brains healthy!

Breathing properly has been shown to improve:

1. Your degree of  energy and alertness/focus

2. Your mood and ability to deal with stress, anxiety and depression

3. Your metabolism

4. Your blood pressure

5. How well you heal after illness, physical trauma or surgery

6. The function of your immune system

7. The proper function of your digestive system (bowel habits)

 

Take some time today to sit still, preferably in the sunshine. 

Close your eyes.

Find the pace of your breath. 

Try to focus AS MUCH on exhaling as you do on inhaling. 

Exhalation is the part of the breath cycle that clears out our OLD TOXIC air. 

No matter how much oxygen you get into your lungs, it will not be effectively used if your lungs are filled with old air. 

Most importantly, BREATHE IN THROUGH YOUR NOSE. You have a natural filtration system in your nasal cavity that works to decrease harmful microbes and hazards from reaching your lungs.

Did you know that breathing through your nose increases the amount of oxygen you breathe in by almost 20%?!

Find a rhythm. There are apps and videos focusing on how to breathe. 

Your watch may even remind you throughout the day to take a minute to breathe (smile).

To learn more about breathing, come by or call us to schedule an appointment with our Pulmonary Team here at ONE Clinic (a branch of Orthopedic Center for Sports Medicine). nolasportsmedicine.com

Breathing WELL is something we all deserve. 

Andrea Girod Espinoza, MD, FCCP

Board Certified Pulmonary Medicine

 

 

Author
Andrea G. Espinoza MD Board Certified Pulmonologist Board Certified LifeStyle Medicine

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