With the festive season upon us, it’s a great time to relax, but we want to make sure we don’t relax so much we forget to move! To help you with this the team at CORE FOUNDATIONS has put together some tips on breathing to help you unwind on your break, plus a 10-minute routine to get you moving!
Breathing for Your Health and Movement Made Easy
5 Key benefits of diaphragmatic (belly) breathing
- Efficient gas exchange –the bottom third of the lungs is where about two-thirds of the gas exchange takes place, so oxygenation is more efficient when you use the diaphragm.
- Less tension and tightness in the neck and shoulders as the muscles here can relax
- Diaphragmatic breathing rebalances the autonomic nervous system, reducing heart rate and breathing rate and changing from sympathetic fight or flight to parasympathetic calm and relax
- Diaphragmatic breathing gently “massages” or moves the abdominal organs, aiding digestion and helping lymphatic drainage; much of the lymphatic system is located just below the diaphragm
- The diaphragm contributes to good posture and core muscle strength, so needs to work properly. In fact overdeveloped abs and sucking the stomach in can hinder proper movement of the diaphragm, and promote upper chest breathing.
For a while now it has been fashionable to brace our core and suck our tummy’s in. As good as this may be for hiding a protruding belly it actually disconnects the top and bottom halves of our bodies and limits our ability to breathe properly and move well.
Therefore, what is correct?
The most efficient muscle for breathing in our body is the Diaphragm. Yet most of us don’t know how to access it these days. So here is a simple way to teach your self and test how well you’re actually doing with it.
Lie on your back with your calves and feet elevated on a small chair or step to ensure maximum relaxation. Now breathe deep in through the nose and out through the mouth. Check to see if your breath is getting stuck in your chest or going all the way through to your belly. The goal is to create a big fat belly while inhaling. However, this doesn’t mean simply pushing your belly out.
We recommend you try the 4/4/4/4 method.
This is simply breathing in for a 4 count, holding for 4, breathing out for 4 and holding for 4. Repeat this up to10 times and see how you feel when you stand up.
Movement Made Easy
Take 10 minutes and get moving for the holidays!
Warm up (3 mins)
Rolling Patterns – Upper or lower x 4 reps either side
Hip Decoupling – 4 reps each side (add an extra set for the tighter side if needed)
Ground to Standing (G2S)
Watch our Video.
The aim is to go for 45 seconds on and 15 seconds off continuous for the full 7 mins
Exercise 1 – Standing with a reverse step to squat & Sit (alt sides)
Exercise 2 – Defensive Sit to stand 45 sec each side
Exercise 3 – Push up Plank to stand
Exercise 4 – X body hand to knee – Fall Matrix (4 – 5 positions) push up
Exercise 5 – Crab position + rollover to stand (add a jump to increase difficulty)
Repeat all moves back to back until finished. Add another round if you have time. This will keep you moving in all directions every day without the need for a gym or equipment.
Merry XMAS all and see you in the new year guys….
By Regan Zampogna