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Are you breathing properly?

Running man resting after run in New York City

Most people tend to breathe in a slightly abnormal way, they tend to hold in their stomachs, make little use of their diaphragm, and breathe using the muscles of their upper chest, neck and shoulders. This is not the most effective way to get the needed oxygen to our brain and muscles. The good news is that we can relearn how to breathe properly – learning to breathe using our abdomens. Let’s have a look the difference between Chest breathing and Abdominal breathing.

Chest breathing refers to breaths from the top lobes of the lungs that use the chest muscles to inflate the lungs by pulling on the rib cage. In chest breathing, the chest expands and contracts with each breath while the abdominal area does not. These breaths tend to be short and quick, using only a small portion of the lungs and delivering a relatively minimal amount of oxygen to the bloodstream. Chest breathing is often associated with hyperventilation and a sensation of feeling out of breath, as you attempt to take in oxygen quickly despite the low air volume from each breath.

Abdominal breathing, also called belly or diaphragmatic breathing, refers to breaths that use your entire lung capacity. The diaphragm and abdominal muscles pull down on the abdominal cavity to fully inflate the lungs. The chest expands very little if at all while abdominal breathing, while the abdominal area expands significantly. Breaths taken while abdominal breathing are slow and deep, taking longer to inhale and exhale and delivering a significantly larger amount of oxygen to the bloodstream. The larger amount of air intake also allows you to exhale a larger amount of carbon dioxide, eliminating it from your body at a faster rate.
See the video below how the diaphragm works and why deep breathing is beneficial for our body.

Do you want to sleep better tonight?

Do you want to sleep better tonight? Turn off the TV first!

Many people watch television right before they go to sleep. A recent sleep survey found that two-thirds of people in every country watch TV in the hour before bed.

“The bright light of TV stimulates the brain, which can affect the secretion of melatonin, a hormone necessary for quality sleep,” explains W. Christopher Winter, M.D., Men’s Health’s sleep advisor. And laptops and tablets used at the brightest setting are just as harmful.
As your brain revs up, its electrical activity increases and neurons start to race — the exact opposite of what should be happening before sleep. A second reason has to do with your body: The physical act of responding to a video game or even an email makes your body tense. As you get stressed, your body can go into a “fight or flight” response, and as a result, cortisol, a stress hormone produced by the adrenal gland, is released, creating a situation hardly conducive to sleep.

So, there is a tip for a healthy night time routine. Turn off the TV and spend that hour with a good book instead. Reading under a dim light won’t disrupt your brain’s melatonin production. Plus, studies have shown that overall memory improves if you learn right before falling asleep.

Sleep tight!

Are you sitting with your legs crossed now

Are you sitting with your legs crossed now?

Almost half (45%) of women cross their legs most or nearly all of the time, even though 75% of these women know it is bad for them. It is a matter of routine rather than manners for women, over 70% of who claim they do it out of habit, not thinking or realizing what they are doing!

So why is it so bad for you?

When you cross one leg over your opposite knee, it raises one hip and puts increased pressure on the other, which causes your spine to shift its position. If you sit like this for extended periods of time (and most of us do), it can result in lower back, pelvic, hip and knee pain. By shifting the position of the hips, pelvis and spine, crossing your legs shortens the muscles on one side of your lower back. If left in this position, these muscles become chronically shortened, and can lead to a great deal of back pain and spasm. This position also increases the pressure put on your sciatic nerve, which runs through your lower back, buttocks, and down both legs to the feet. Scientists have proven that it only takes the pressure of the weight of a dime on a nerve to cause 60% altered function in that particular nerve.
Watch this short video below and see it can affect your blood flow.

Why I don’t drink cold water

Ok, it’s been really hot lately and drinking a glass of cold water seems like the best way to get freshened up. But have you thought about how it may affect us?

There are a couple of reasons why I try to avoid drinking cold water even though it’s really tempting.
Firstly, when you drink cold water the body has to use energy to heat the cold water to body temperature which will result in water loss also causes blood vessels in the stomach to shrink. Especially after playing sports or being in a hot area, internal body temperature drops rapidly because blood flows to the external muscles from the organs so if you drink cold water after hard work out, it freezes the metabolic system and that causes slow recovery and fatigue.

Another reason is that it can lower your immunity. Many people believe that drinking a glass of cold water first thing in the morning flushes the system but it can actually do more harm than good. Body temperatures are normally lower in the morning and higher in the afternoon so putting cold water into your system when it’s already cold, it really slows down your metabolism. And lowered body temperature stresses the body which means it stimulates sympathetic nervous system which is a big factor of low immune system.

Lastly, I’d like to tell this to all pregnant women. Please Please Please do not drink any icy cold beverages. Provide your baby a nice and warm environment. Drinking cold water may slow down the blood flow to the uterus. Warm water helps the circulation and makes you and your baby healthier.
Thanks for reading and hope this helps ☺