One of the most important unconscious functions of our body is breathing. This is an autonomic process that occurs unconsciously but is vital in our life. After facing the COVID -19 epidemic, we have begun to realize how breathing can be affected by viruses and how this can greatly compromise our health and life.
However, breathing is essential; not only to bring blood to our tissues, but also plays an important role in how our body eliminates toxins every day and helps us maintain metabolic balance to maintain life. It is for this reason that, like diet and lifestyle changes, knowing how to breathe correctly is important not only to live but to maintain good health.
We can prevent many diseases through a good diet and with modifications of self-destructive habits that little by little diminish our quality of life. However, they rarely guide us on a key aspect of good health, such as breathing correctly.
We can go a long time without eating, a few days without drinking, but without breathing we cannot go more than a few minutes. Life depends entirely on oxygen. That is why it is important to become more aware of this process that is full of great benefits and that helps us prevent diseases.
However, the habits of today’s societies are not conducive to good breathing. Rather, breathing has become shallow, rapid, and incomplete.
Only a part of the lung capacity is used, and good oxygenation is not achieved, which is key to promoting metabolic and oxidation processes, and to help keep the body’s tissues young and in good condition.
An example are people who smoke, in these people, the hemoglobin of red blood cells, which carries oxygen, combines better with tobacco monoxide than with oxygen, and carboxyhemoglobin is formed, which translates into oxygenation of the cells. Poor tissues.
This is one of the reasons why these people end up with chronic lung diseases and even anemia; since the oxygen in the blood together with the hemoglobin was not transported correctly in the body, and they do not meet the adequate oxygen needs. This translates into the decrease of the capacities of the cells and the favoring of chronic diseases.
We can obtain correct breathing when we use well the organic structures that we have to breathe. Breathing begins through the nose, not through the mouth. Its mission is important because it cleans the air, warms it, moistens it, and conditions it to pass in good condition to the lower respiratory tract. It is known that in each breath, a lung mobilizes an average of 500 cubic centimeters of air.
Then this air reaches the lower respiratory tract where the exchange of air that enters our body occurs and where carbon dioxide is eliminated during exhalation out of our body. This is a complex process and there are different chronic conditions such as asthma and pulmonary hypertension that can alter this process.
To improve our health, the important thing is to be more aware of our breathing and see if we begin to experience shortness of breath, dizziness or headaches among other associated symptoms. One recommendation is to do breathing exercises that help us bring more air into our lungs and oxygenate ourselves better.
Learning to breathe properly, and correct bad habits, is easy. At first, it is convenient to train by practicing it several times a day. This only takes a few minutes. It can be done at home, at work, while walking and in any circumstance, or by dedicating an exercise session like the ones described below.
Standing or sitting, with the spine erect, straight, and always breathing through the nostrils, inhale first filling the lower part of the lungs, which is obtained by putting the diaphragm into play.
When it descends, it feels like the abdomen expands, the lower ribs, sternum and chest rise, to finish filling the upper part of the lungs by lifting the upper part of the chest, as if pulling the neck. Although it may appear that this breath consists of three different movements, with a little practice you will see that there is only one and that the inhalation is continuous.
After the inhalation is complete, which lasts a couple of seconds, hold your breath for a few seconds.
Exhale very slowly, introducing the abdomen little by little and lowering the rib cage until all the air is expelled to finally loosen the chest and abdomen.
With a little practice, this way of breathing will run almost automatically. At the beginning, in the first sessions, it can be practiced in front of a mirror, placing one hand on the abdomen and the other on the thorax, so that the movements can be seen and felt, which will help a lot to understand the mechanism of breathing. Complete and to know our body better.
The exercise can last as long as you want and repeat it several times a day because it is compatible with any other activity. There is a long series of breathing exercises, all of which are very relaxing and are also used to combat insomnia by practicing them before going to bed. They are also very effective in times of tension and stress, thanks to their sedative effect.
Breathing is life, and life is health. The more oxygen our body obtains, the greater benefits and a better quality of life.
If you want to improve your health through good nutrition and lifestyle changes, call us at the first program of transformation in Health and nutrition of Fitmed by Dr. Adamar Gonzalez, a program designed in a personal way and under the clinical supervision of the Dr. Gonzalez.
Without injections, medications, just knowing your body and learning to take care of it in the correct way. From proper nutrition and under a completely personal program designed for you and based on your lifestyle and health condition.
Decide to change your health permanently.
Adamar Gonzalez MD
Dr. in General Medicine
Creator of the Transformation Program
in Health and Nutrition from FitMeD