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The application of breathing techniques for health conditions, and cooling down.....

Updated: Sep 12, 2023

Learning how to breathe is part of fitness training from when to breathe during the phase of a rep, to breathing patterns during aerobic training and of course cooling down.

There are other areas where breathing techniques are valuable in relation to managing health conditions..... and the sometimes overlooked cooling down phase after exercise.

The video shows four simple breathing techniques. They are listed as follows.....

1. In through the nose and out through the mouth.

2. In through the nose and out through the nose.

3. In the right nostril and out through the left, then in through the left and out through the right (this requires a lot of practice but it is possible to breathe dominantly with one nostril).

4. In through the nose, hold for three seconds and breathe out through the mouth. (The duration held can vary but three seconds is a good place to start).

There have been certain "discussions" about breathing that have stated it isn't important to breathe in through the nose at all as what happens when we are sleeping? Do we breathe through the nose then? It is probably more mouth dominant..... however this argument is missing the point of the application of breathing techniques for.....

The management of health conditions..... and the profound effect that nasal breathing has on bringing the heart rate down efficiently after exercise, plus the strong psychological benefits that it can provide.

A breathing technique is usable anywhere and allows a sufferer of certain health conditions to "take control" of their health condition, by providing a strong psychological level of control. Panic, fear and worry are common with serious health conditions like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and a whole host of conditions or associated conditions such as stress and anxiety.

Breathing exercises can be done independently of physical activity or combined depending on the application. Some breathing exercises need practice and time to benefit from..... and this can be dependant on a persons current ability.

A commonly overlooked area of learning to breathe, is the cooling down phase after a higher intensity exercise session. This could be a hard run or a padwork session (boxing training) for example.

Often many will gasp for air after an intense session, bend over with fatigue, walk a bit and gasp for air. This can go on for minutes and is completely disorganised. At some point the heart rate and breathing will return to normal..... but by knowing how to calm down that breathing by taking in oxygen efficiently to the body prevents the gasping.

As with all breathing techniques there are variations and some can be combined.

An excellent technique I was taught decades ago for after exceptionally high intensity training was..... (a variant in duration of number 4 listed above).

I was gasping for air I just couldn't get my breath. So, I learnt to breathe in through the nose, hold it for ten seconds then out through the mouth (more oxygen is utilised) on a long breath out. I was told to do this ten times. It didn't matter how intense the session was, I could always get my breathing and heart rate down to normal in just ten breaths. Otherwise I'd have been out of breath a lot longer.

There are of course various breathing techniques and some are more appropriate than an other depending on the individual.

Purposefully applying breathing techniques have so many applications, from the psychological benefits with health conditions, to maximising on current lung function with a condition such as COPD for example..... as well as efficient recovery after exercise.

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