How are you breathing right now?
Sit for a moment and concentrate on the way you are inhaling and exhaling.
Is your breathing gentle, effortless and comfortable?
If you answered ‘Yes’ then you are using your diaphragm muscle well.
Your body will be oxygenated and relaxed.
Yet many of us have shallow breathing that is affecting our health in a myriad of ways.
Try this simple diaphragmatic breathing technique and FEEL the immediate benefits.
- Sit or lie in a comfortable position, placing one hand on your tummy and the other on your chest.
- Become aware of the movement that occurs under your hands with each breath.
- Now, as you breathe IN through your nose, think about the tummy hand rising or making a “tummy balloon” and the chest hand only moving slightly, if at all.
- As you breathe OUT through your lips, tighten the tummy muscles; the hand on your chest will remain as still as possible.
It may seem slightly awkward if you haven’t done this before but with practice, you will master it.
Eat that fibre!
Fibre is essential to good bowel health.
Think of a bowl of dry cereal and how difficult that is to eat! Having fibre in your diet is like adding milk to your bowl of cereal – suddenly it goes down a whole lot easier.
Another useful analogy is to think of the bowel as a pipe and fibre as a brush. The brush keeps the pipe clean by pushing things through, getting rid of possible cancer-forming bacteria along the way.
Fibre is only found in plant food – it doesn’t get digested or absorbed so it can perform the job of the ‘brush’.
Another thing worth knowing is that fibre is not destroyed by cooking which means you don’t have to eat your vegetables raw.
Active Ageing Exercise Specialist