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Tuesday 12 January 2021

Daily Practices To Take Hold Of Your Respiratory Health

Posted by: Help For Heroes

Getting started

  • Create a clean, clear space. Put up pictures that inspire you. You could Light a candle. Find smells which bring comfort. Avoid harsh lights.

  • Air quality. Set up a ventilated clean room by opening a window or get outside in nature

  • Posture. Using a chair or cushions position yourself with your spine comfortably erect. Try to have the chest open to practice your breathing. This can help increase lung capacity by up to 30%.

  • Get warmed up by stretching your core abdominal muscles facilitates optimum breathing capacity.

  • Open the ribcage by breathing in as you raise the arms. Try not to over force.

  • Bending forwards and backwards gently.

 

Types Of Breathing Exercises


Double Breathing 

This is a complete respiratory workout without moving.

  • Breathe in through nose twice, out through open mouth twice.

  • Repeat 10 times into the belly, 10 times Belly to Chest and 10 times into the Chest.

  • Then take a slow inhale and an AHH breath exhaling out slowly through the mouth. Pause. Repeat practice x 3.

 

When thinking of using Breathing techniques- imagine an inhale will raise the energy (stress hormones in the body making you feel more alert and active), the exhale will naturally calm this energy down (releasing calming chemistry hormones in the body).

 

6/6 Breathing

This is a slow rhythmic breathing technique which optimises heart rate variability and balances the nervous system.

  • Breathe in through your nose counting in for 6 seconds, exhale out through the nose for a count of 6 seconds. Repeat this for 3-5 mins.

  • If you like, you can add in a 6 second pause at the top of the inhale and at the bottom of the exhale. If you find breathing in for 6/6 too difficult initially, you can do 4/4 or 5/5.

 

The nervous system functioning has a huge impact on how we feel, behave, think and act.  If you emphasise your exhale this will make you feel very calm. You could breathe in for 6 seconds for example and exhale out for 12 seconds.

 

Body and Mind Benefits


Gut and Brain connection 

90% of our serotonin (happy hormone which aids sleep, eating and digestion) is created in the intestinal lining. Reduction in meat, dairy, alcohol and processed stimulants will all have a positive impact on this brain- body connection. There is also a yogic technique called Agni Sara or Nauli that can help with digestion.

HRV

Heart Rate Variability correlates with having good resilience, the ability to bounce back quickly from stressful situations- Breathwork can optimise your HRV.

Cold Water Therapy

Ending a hot shower with 30-90 seconds of cold water can result in 29% reduction in sickness as well as boosting your happy hormones and resilience with uncomfortable body sensations. There are many mental health swim groups available now or take an ice bath.

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