The postural muscles of the body are comprised of slow twitch muscle fibres. The reason for this is that they have endurance and that is what is needed to hold our body up for long periods of time. Slow twitch muscle fibres are dependent on oxygen to work efficiently. Therefore if we are not breathing correctly, and hence not getting enough oxygen to those muscles, they cannot function properly.
Train yourself to breathe!
When we are babies we breathe using our diaphragm. Look at a sleeping baby and you will see their tummy rising and falling. We tend to stop using our diaphragm and breathe more from our chest as adults. But we can change this. By training ourselves to breathe correctly we can influence our ability to maintain good posture.
Lie on your back, knees bent, feet flat on the floor with a small cushion under your head. Place one hand on your belly and the other hand on your chest.
Breathe into your belly so the hand that is on it lifts. Don’t push or force your belly out; let your breathing do the work. The hand that is on your chest should remain still.
Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth.
How often? Every day! For five to ten minutes.
Look out for my next blog on how this type of breathing can help you to control your body’s response to stress and therefore avoid the short and long term risks of stress.
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