It seems ludicrous to say it in such simple terms. After all, breathing is something that you do every minute of every day. However, like many things in life, just because you do it regularly does not mean that you are gaining the most benefit from that activity.
This is exactly the case with breathing.
You would think that simply inhaling and exhaling would be all that it would take, however, how you breathe can make all the difference in whether you are getting the most out of this normally unconscious action.
For example, did you know that breathing through your nose, instead of through your mouth, during exercise can impact issues that you don’t expect such as your ability to metabolize fat, your energy levels when you are done with your workout, and your performance and endurance while exercising?
Surprisingly to many people, breathing incorrectly can even cause chronic nasal congestion, a runny nose, and, some researchers say, sleep apnea.
The kind of breathing that will give you the most benefit includes breathing through your nose and breathing with your diaphragm, which some people refer to as breathing with your stomach instead of breathing with your chest.
Your diaphragm is a band of muscle located below your rib cage. Trained singers tend to breathe with their diaphragm when singing for the increased lung capacity and vocal resonance that this breathing naturally lends to the singing process.
If you are not sure how to breathe with your diaphragm, a simple way to become conscious of this muscle so that you can make use of it is to sit in a chair with your feet on the floor. Bend over at the waist, while remaining seated, and touch the floor. While touching the floor, try to inhale a large breath.
You will start to feel pressure as your stomach tries to expand but cannot because it is pushing on your legs. However, you will also notice pressure just below your rib cage where your diaphragm is seeking to pull more air into your lungs. Notice this muscle group, and start intentionally breathing using these muscles.
Practice this for a few weeks and be sure to let us know the results that you receive from breathing correctly. Comment below.