Wellness Pathway #117: Breathe Deeply

Most people know that 30 minutes of vigorous, aerobic exercise a day is essential for good health. This week a new study revealed that being sedentary is actually more dangerous to your health than being overweight or being a smoker. Vigorous, aerobic exercise not only burns calories at the time of exercise, but it also raises your metabolism and burns calories throughout the day. Thirty minutes of exercise can have a 24-hour effect.

So too with relaxation and deep breathing, only the ratio is even greater. Two minutes of deep breathing, twice a day, can lower your blood pressure and stress levels all day long. Now that’s a pretty good deal. What’s four minutes out of your day? The technique is simple. Sit in a comfortable position with your back and shoulders straight. Breathe in through your nose to the count of four. Hold to the count of seven. Breathe out through your nose or mouth to the count of eight. Take no more than twelve breaths (every ten seconds) in two minutes. Eight 15-second breaths are even better. Do this in the morning and in the evening for better health and longevity.

Reader Reply: I especially like your Wellness Pathways. I am enjoying drinking red tea and taking flax seed. However, your tip to “Breathe Deeply” is in exact contradiction of what is stated in the book, “Breathing Free” by Teresa Hale. She states that overbreathing (taking deep breaths and taking in too much oxygen) causes high blood pressure. I have been doing the breathing exercises (shallow breathing and holding my breath after exhaling) described in her book for a month or so. My blood pressure has gone down from an average of 144/75 to 138/72. Her results are documented at her clinic in England as well as a similar clinic in Australia. It is based on the discovery of Professor Konstantin Buteyko and more than forty-five years of practical and empirical research in Russia. (Ed. Note: There is some debate here. For the results of a blind randomized controlled trial, see http://www.mja.com.au/public/issues/xmas98/bowler/bowler.html.)

To reply to this Pathway, use our Feedback Form. To learn more about our Wellness Coaching programs and to arrange for a complimentary wellness coaching session, use our Contact Form or Email Bob.

May you be filled with goodness, peace, and joy.

Bob Tschannen-Moran

President, LifeTrek Coaching Internationalwww.LifeTrekCoaching.com
CEO & Co-Founder, Center for School Transformationwww.SchoolTransformation.com
2010-2011 President, International Association of Coachingwww.CertifiedCoach.org

Address: 121 Will Scarlet Lane, Williamsburg, VA 23185-5043
Phone: (757) 345-3452
Fax: (772) 382-3258
Skype: LifeTrek
Twitter: @LifeTrekBob
Subscribe/Unsubscribe: Subscriber Services