While it might be a bit unusual to think of the air that we breathe as a nutrient, there’s no denying its invaluable function in superior health. To some degree, of course, this goes without saying, because none of us can go more than a matter of minutes without oxygen. But just like its other critical counterpart, water, most everyone has just enough of it to survive, but not enough of it to thrive. And if you have a high-fat diet, then you’re compromised even further in the oxygen department. Research has shown that when you test the blood of a patient before and after a high fat meal, there is 20% drop in oxygen content in the blood!
50 Deep Breaths a Day
Inadequate amounts of oxygen throughout the body is a major contributor to many diseases, lack of energy and general ill health. And while the low-fat, anti-inflammatory, pro-circulation and increased cardio components of the lifestyle philosophy that I promote will help, we will also want to take in more pure oxygen everyday, as well. Here’s where your 50 deep breaths a day comes into play.
By taking in a number of conscious, slow, relaxed, deep breaths everyday, a number of surprising benefits can take place:
∑ Helps to cleanse the blood through increased oxygenation and by stimulating the lymph system
∑ Ensures the brain gets enough oxygen, as it requires three times more than the rest of the body
∑ Rejuvenates the pituitary, pineal, and other glands
∑ Promotes healthy lungs and even increases the elasticity of the lungs and rib cage, which creates a residual benefit of increased breathing capacity throughout the day…not just when you’re doing your conscious deep breathing
∑ Aids in the digestion and assimilation of your food
∑ Increases circulation to your abdominal region as the movements of the diaphragm create a “massage” effect for your stomach, liver, pancreas, small intestine, etc.
∑ Decreases the workload of the heart since it doesn’t have to work as hard to deliver oxygen to your tissues
∑ Helps to burn excess fat more efficiently
∑ Reduces stress and anxiety as it promotes deep relaxation in the body
The list goes on from here but, believe me, this notion is nothing new. For many centuries, yogis have been shouting the praises of deep breathing as it’s become such an integral part of any yoga practice. For our purposes here, though, it’s a matter of shooting for at least 50 total deep breaths throughout the day.
As for the how to breathe, the basic premise is supremely simple. Just slowly take a full breath of air deep into your belly (via your nose or mouth), hold it for a few seconds, then exhale slowly. Do it whenever you think about it. And you can do this virtually anytime, anywhere, whether it’s in the car, waiting in line, or wherever else strikes you. But just do it as often as you can, shooting for around 50 deep breaths per day.
By the way, do any of us really keep track of how many of these breaths we actually take? Not really. But 50 gives you a rough idea of how often you want to do it throughout the day.
Do this now! You’ll really begin to feel the difference as you work this into your daily lifestyle.
Next time, we’ll talk about the optimal way to breathe deep…