Breathing. You do it every day. But are you utilizing the mind-body connection to ensure maximum benefit from your breathing during appropriate times?
While exercising, you want to breath deeply, exhaling on the most exerting part of the movement. While doing crunches, the exertion is when you lift your shoulders off of the ground, so that is when you exhale. When performing push-ups, both the lowering and lifting of the body require concentration, but it is the lifting movement that requires the most exertion.
Deep breaths helps prevent dizziness while exercising, and burns more fat.
Another time to really focus on and control your breathing is during times of stress. Focusing on taking slow, deep breaths not only helps calm you down, it also prevents the immune system from becoming compromised, lowers your blood pressure, and literally changes your body. Utilizing deep breathing can actually alter your gene expression, changing the manner in which genes act during times that you are experiencing stress.
In addition, utilizing controlled breathing in conjunction with meditation can increase your brain size. Becoming adept at meditation is a skill that requires practice. A lot of practice. Here’s a pretty good site to provide an introduction to mindfulness and meditation, meant to be explored over the course of 5 – 6 weeks.
By being mindful and concentrating on your breathing, you can benefit your health and often perform activities and exercises in a more effective manner. So breathe deeply, exercise effectually, and react to stress more productively.