“Air is life.” Think about the three main physical elements you intake every day to support your life: Food, water and air; which of them is the most important? Certainly, all three of them are vital to continue our earthly journey and depending on several factors you could survive without food or water for days. Without food, an average person could survive four to six weeks. Without water, the same person may survive three to four days before dehydration and other serious health related problems.
Now try reaching the two minute mark without air. It is almost impossible for the ordinary human being. The breath holding record on land is around ten minutes; 20 minutes in water. But doctors used to declare patients brain dead if they had not breathed in five minutes. So do not attempt holding your breath for too long since it is really dangerous. Instead, learn some breathing exercises to improve your overall health condition, to relieve tension, and maximize your energy levels.
Life is a combustion phenomenon.
I will not go into scientific details here but I think it is really important to understand the process of breathing so you can do it right. Besides, the chemistry involved in all of this is really fun. Combustion, most commonly known as “something burning” is more correctly defined as a form of oxidation. In the case of fire, oxidation occurs so rapidly that excessive heat and light are produced. Oxidation is simply the process in which a substance reacts with oxygen. Air contains about 20% of oxygen and the human body mass is about two-thirds oxygen. This element really plays a vital role in the metabolism of mostly any living organism. The act of breathing is part of the process to deliver oxygen to the body’s cells. The nutrient compounds inside the cells are oxidized through complex enzymatic processes, and this oxidation, long story made short, is the source of energy.
Carbon dioxide is also present in the air and when breathing, this gas is being exhaled from the body as a waste product. The more you practice the breathing exercises the better you get rid of this unwanted element.
Breathe to stay Focus.
The brain demands a lot of oxygen to function at its optimal capacity. It requires about 20% of the whole body consumption. To stay focus during your training, while playing a basketball game, or doing any other daily activity, practice the following breathing exercises every day in the morning.
1. Sit up straight and exhale, empty your lungs.
2. Place your hands slightly on your belly. Relax the belly muscles and Inhale.
3. After filling the belly, keep inhaling. Fill up the middle of your chest. Feel your chest and rib cage expand.
4. Hold your breath for a moment, and then begin to exhale as slowly as possible.
5. As the air is slowly let out, relax your chest and rib cage. Begin to pull your belly in to force out the remaining breath.
6. Close your eyes relaxing your face and mind and concentrate on your breathing.
7. Repeat for five minutes.
Respiration exercise from Tai Chi Chuan:
I really like this practical exercise. It can be practiced right before training or game, during the stretching session.
1. Three short inhales are done through the nose without exhaling.
2. On the first inhale, the arms are lifted from the sides straight out in front at shoulder height.
3. On the second, the arms are opened out straight to the sides while still at shoulder height.
4. On the third, the arms are lifted straight over the head.
5. Then, on the exhale through the mouth, the arms are moved in an arc back down to the sides.
6. Repeat ten times.
Basic Instructions for the Breathing exercises
- This exercises should be done with caution at a slow pace to avoid hyperventilation and light headedness.
- Practice this exercises on an empty stomach.
- Make sure there is plenty of fresh air around you.
Please feel free to leave your comments below with more tips on how to improve breathing.
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