How we respond to how things work out will determine the quality of our lives. Our thoughts about our current life situations is what dictates our person. Change your thoughts and you change your life. The key to happiness is to not focus on the negative, rather focus on where you want to be. Focus on what you want to achieve. Focus on the feelings you want to feel. Focus on the person you want to become and work toward doing the things you must do to become that person. Choose to feel how you would feel if everything in your life fell into place. When you become genuinely excited for your future, it is impossible to be miserable. You will let go of the BS of your past. The thing that keeps life going is having that sense of future, sense of goals to work toward. What will stop you and make you shut down is not having those goals in place. Don’t get attached to the outcome, get excited about who you will become and how you will develop as a person. Get excited about who you will be able to help as a result of you creating this life for yourself. Who will benefit from you living a happier life? Who will benefit from you being an awesome example?
“Ideas don’t come out fully formed, they only become clear as you work on them. You just have to get started”
Need some help clarifying those goals? Set a 30min HERE.
How Focusing On Your Breathing Can Improve Your Fitness
Breathing is a unique process in the human body. It can occur voluntarily or involuntarily, be a conscious or unconscious decision, and is constantly responding to feedback from sensors in your body. Oftentimes are breathe is being stifled by our emotional state, body position, or
Posture and breath
When you inhale your diaphragm contracts and moves downward expanding the chest cavity and giving the lungs space to expand. This simultaneously lifts the ribs and sternum. When you exhale the diaphragm relaxes and expands into the chest cavity as the ribs and sternum lower.
The key muscles or primary movers in this process are the diaphragm, intercostal muscles, and abdominal muscles. Secondary mover muscles include upper trapezius, scalenes, sternocleidomastoid, levator scapulae, and pectoralis minor.
Poor posture categorized by rounded shoulders and a forward head position can cause these secondary movers to become tight and overworked. This leads to a decline in respiratory function which can further exacerbate the breathing muscles and contribute to even worse posture.
To jump start your muscles involved in breathing try out this stretching and breath practice from Jill Miller at Yoga Tune Up: The Abdominal Vacuum.
So you might be wondering why you should worry about your breath when it’s so easy you can literally do it in your sleep?
Let’s start with the the one we all care about
- Improved performance. A study at the University of Portsmouth showed that runners who performed inspiratory muscle warm-ups and training experienced a whopping 15% increase in performance after just 6 weeks.
Bringing a mindful focus to breath can also help improve energy. Individuals who practice deep breathing exercises report more energy, improved mental acuity, and getting a better night’s sleep.
An improvement in breath capacity will lead to a healthier digestive tract. The body has more energy to allocate towards digestion and is more efficient at eliminating toxins.
- Decrease Stress
Breathing techniques that are designed to bring increased awareness the breath can carry over to other areas of life. It trains the mind to be less emotionally reactive while simultaneously reducing cortisol levels.
- Heart Rate
Breathing practice has been shown to lower resting heart rate and blood pressure. Try deep belly breaths where the stomach fully expands and holding in at the full exhalation and inhalation points.
Many breathing techniques are geared towards unwinding, shutting down, and moving away from the flight or fight response we are used to feeling. Breath work also has many powerful applications to get us fired up and improve our u
When lifting heavy weights, a full belly breath can be held inside the abdomen throughout the lift. This Valsalva Maneuver provides internal pressure that supports the spine and braces the skeletal muscle throughout the lift. Limit this maneuver for maximal exertion efforts (eg. greater than 80% of your 1rm and 5 reps or less in your working set).
Breathing can also be used to prime your body into a peak state. Using rapid forced inhales and exhales through the nostrils will stimulate the immune system, increase circulation, and leave you feeling alive, alert, and awake.
Now that you know a little about how breathing affects your daily life and the systems of your body what areas do you want to incorporate a breathing practice into? Whether its for our health, relaxation purposes, or to improve our athletic performance we could all benefit from taking a deep breath now and then!
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