I was listening to a talk the other day and heard the following quote, “What is the leading cause of death? Answer: Birth. If you are breathing, you are leaving.” This is very true. We are brought into this world with breath and we will leave this world after one last breath. When the body is oxygen-rich no viruses, bacteria, or even cancers can survive. They can’t live in a highly aerobic environment. So why not live and keep your body in an oxygen rich environment by learning how to breathe better?
First off, we need to know how we currently breathe. This can be done with a simple test:
Lay flat on the floor, put one hand on your chest and one hand on your stomach. Breathe in. If your chest rises first, you are considered a shallow breather. But if your stomach rises, you are filling your lungs with a greater supply of air, and thus of oxygen. This is how you want to be breathing. If you are not breathing all the way to your stomach, or you want to increase your capacity for oxygen, this is the place for you.
There are techniques that will greatly enhance your lung capacity and oxygen intake. Let me share some that are taught within certain Special Forces groups.
For all the following exercises start off at a walk to get used to it, then move into jogging, and then running.
1. Two step breathing: For one step breathe in and for the next step breathe out. Do this a few times and gradually increase the steps for each breath until you get to ten. So next it will be two steps for one breath in and two steps for one breath out, then three and four, and so on.
2. Triangular breathing: For one step breathe in, for one step breathe out, and for the third step hold your breath. Then two steps in, two steps out, and two steps hold, and so on until you reach ten steps for every breath.
3. Square breathing: Breathe in for one step, hold for one step, breathe out for one step, and hold for one step. Then two steps breathe in, two steps hold breath, two steps out, two steps hold, until you reach ten.
This is just one way to increase your lung capacity and create a high oxygen rich environment. There are many other techniques from Pranayama Breathing Techniques to altitude training. Whichever you choose, breathe deeply.
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