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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Easiest Exercise (EVER)

What is the easiest exercise ever? Breathing! Breathing exercises help to strengthen the lungs, reduces stress, and can improve heart health. And of course, it doesn't cost us anything to do this exercise, and we don't need any special equipment. There are muscles all around our lungs. The diaphragm is a powerful muscle at the bottom of the rib cage, and the intercostal muscles run between the ribs. We use these muscles all the time as we breathe, and we can exercise them to strengthen them further. Strengthening these muscles helps us to draw more air into the lungs, so then we have more oxygen to use. It also helps us to use the oxygen more efficiently, delivering it throughout the body. This is important for athletes, who want to optimize their performance, and for people with asthma and other respiratory conditions. It is also essential as we get older, we want to keep all of our muscles in use and in good shape.One simple breathing exercise: Breathe in slowly through the nose to the count of five, allow the belly to expand comfortably. Then exhale to the count of seven, pushing the air up from the belly, through the lungs and out through the mouth. Hold the breath for a moment to increase the carbon dioxide level in the body. This helps to relax the muscles and reduce strain. Repeat for a few minutes. (From Lisa Coffey's Coffee Talk)

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