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The Importance of Breathing While Stretching: Part 2

Posted by Dr. Donna Restivo on Jul 17, 2019 2:26:00 PM

In Losing Weight, nutrition, senior exercise tips

In our previous post, we started to discuss the many benefits of breathing while stretching. While this seems like a simple topic, there is actually a lot to learn when it comes to getting the most out of stretching and pairing the elongation of muscles up with deep breathing is key to making it all worthwhile.

mature woman with outstretched arms in nature

Awareness. It’s easy to go through life unaware of your surroundings. In fact, some of us can go entire days not realizing that there are some major things going on in our bodies and minds. The same is true when it comes to breathing. We are so busy tackling our to-do list that we seldom have a second to think about our breathing and what type of state it’s in. Are we pulling in little shallow breaths, or are they sporadic and quick? Considering breathing is what makes us alive and able to accomplish all those little tasks, it’s pretty important to do it correctly. When we incorporate breath with stretching, it’s incredibly important to concentrate on each muscle and deepen your breath as you stretch it.

The role of breath. It’s easy to think that our bodies run because we breathe and that’s the end of it all, however; there is a lot that goes into breathing. In fact, there is an entire process that takes place when we are engaging in what we think is a simple breath. When we pull that air into our lungs, our diaphragm contracts, putting pressure on the blood vessels and internal organs. At the other end of the spectrum, when we exhale, fresh blood floods the entire system, which is used to enhance the elasticity of the muscles.

Length of stretch. If you hold a stretch for less than 30 seconds, you won’t have a ton of gains in the flexibility department. For ultimate elongation of the muscles, it is recommended that you hold the stretch for at least 30 seconds and up to 60 seconds. We can assure you that by allotting for this extra time in your workout routine, you will be doing your body and mind wonders.

When you first attempt to incorporate deep breathing with your stretching routine, it may feel a little awkward, however; it will start to feel more natural the more your practice. It may help to get yourself accustomed to breathing by sitting in a comfortable position before you execute your stretching routine. After you’ve accomplished a minute or two of just breathing, you can begin combining that breathing with stretches that will ultimately allow you to sink into even deeper stretches. 

 


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