We think about our eating habits, sleeping habits, drinking habits all the time…but when is the last time you thought about your breathing habits? It’s something you normally do without giving it any thought, but if you made a conscientious effort to improve the quality of your breathing once in a while, you would notice a big difference!

Getting enough oxygen into our bodies with our breathing ensures that our brain and organs are functioning to their full potential. With the propensity to sit at desks and slouch, many of us are limiting our ability to get enough oxygen into our bodies, and therefore might feel sluggish and unable to think.

How do you breathe properly?

  • Sit up straight
  • Put one hand on your belly, and as you breathe, feel the breath fill up your belly
  • Once it fills up your belly, let your chest expand with the breath
  • Slowly breathe out

One big issue that might come in the way of getting enough oxygen into our bodies is the habit of keeping our bellies “tight”. Lean abs are sought after, and of course the belly looks flatter when you suck it in! If you’re not breathing with your belly, though, you’re definitely not getting the oxygen that your body needs.

Give it a quick try as you’re reading this – tighten your stomach, then breathe. You’ll notice that you’re just breathing with your chest, and not getting much breath in! Now relax your stomach, and take a big breath in starting with your belly and then letting your chest expand after. So much better, right?

There will be some times when you want the lean stomach look, and of course that’s fine! But unless you’re posing for a picture, remember to sit up straight and do your belly breathing so that your body and brain can function at its full potential. You’ll feel better, brighter, and more energized!

by Sarah Wilson

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