Guidelines for Excercises
How to breathe properly while exercising
There are three phases to breathing:
1. Inhaling - take in air into your body through the nose
2. Retaining - hold your breath inside your body
3. Exhaling - blow out air from your body through the mouth
Perform your exercises in a well ventilated room so that you will fill your lungs with unpolluted air. For each
exercise, breathe deeply. The chart below illustrates the amount of time you could apply to each stage of
Exhaling is usually longer than inhaling because it is essential to empty all air from your lungs. Try this simple
experiment. Pinch your nose to shut the nasal passage while keeping your mouth shut. Now open your mouth
and you will notice that you still have air in your lungs to exhale. It is a good habit to empty your lungs.
The abdominal breathing exercises will be illustrated as it is considered as the best one
1. Lying Down
- Lie on your back and stretch completely. Place one hand on your stomach. For better concentration, close
your eyes. This exercise is relaxing and can help you rest better.
- Inhale deeply through your nose (you will feel your stomach being filled with air).
- Hold your breath.
- Exhale slowly through your mouth. Your stomach will deflate.
- Contract your stomach to force any remaining air.
2. Standing Position
- Raise your arms from your side to an upward position, parallel to the floor and form a T.
- Inhale through the nose for four seconds.
- Stretch your arms straight up while holding your breath for three seconds.
- Exhale slowly through the mouth while lowering your arms.
- Clasp your hands behind your back, pushing your torso forwards for 12 seconds.
- Push out all the air from your lungs by contracting your stomach muscles.
3. Sitting Position
a) Getting into position
Remove your shoes and place your feet on the floor. Sit up straight and tall, distributing your weight evenly.
Rest your arms on your thighs or by your side, palms up, thumb and index finger touching. The palms-up
position rolls your shoulder joints open and focuses your energy upward. The thumb and index finger
connection creates a balance between mind and body.
b) Breathing with shoulder roll
Gently tuck in your shoulders forward and up. Exhale slowly, rolling your shoulders backwards and relaxing
them down. Do this three times continuously. Imagine your energy floating up your spine, through your neck
and to the crown of your head as you inhale, and then back down as you exhale. Relax your jaw and the
hollows under your cheekbones. Acknowledge your thoughts, inhale and then release them as you exhale.
Stay conscious and aware.
c) Deep breathing
Inhale deeply - filling your belly, lower lungs, mid lungs, upper lungs and chest. Slowly push the air out of
your upper lungs, mid lungs, lower lungs and belly. Repeat five times with your eyes closed.
d) Breathing with head bowed
Keeping your eyes closed, bring your chin to your chest. Take three long breaths and then slowly bring your
neck to its upright position by uncurling it one vertebra at a time. There are seven vertebrae in the neck.
When you are walking or climbing the stairs, you could practice these breathing exercises. When taking a walk,
inhale through the nose for 6 steps, hold your breath for 3 steps and exhale through your mouth for 18 steps.
Repeat once you have finished one all three phases.
If you feel weak or fatigue at work, do one of the breathing exercises. You will feel invigorated! Experts have
stated that you will improve your health if you do ten deep abdominal breathing exercises. Breathing will help
you focus and reduce your stress levels. Remember - Breathe Well, Live Well!
Bring a tennis ball to work. Sit tall in your chair, place the tennis ball on the painful area and lean into the
chair. Pressing against the ball, begin to breathe long and deeply. Take ten or more breaths. Repeat if