Did you know that how well you breathe can affect your strength, stamina, sleep, and even mood? According to the National Institutes of Health, controlled breathing can be beneficial for older adults. Just breathing in and out is something most of us do without thinking, so it can easily be taken for granted. But as people age, they are more likely to develop respiratory problems and experience difficulties. Regular breathing exercises can help with physical symptoms from high blood pressure, asthma, sleep apnea, and other chronic conditions as well. We’re sharing some tips for breathing exercises that can be done from home or wherever you’re most comfortable.

These focused techniques help to increase the oxygen level in your body, and ease physical and mental stress- something that all of us can benefit from- not just the seniors in our lives!

  1. Sitting Breathing Exercise- Sitting comfortably in a chair, place one hand on your chest and the other on your belly. Inhale so that the hand on your chest rises- this is chest breathing which uses the upper lobes of the lungs. Now inhale so that your hand on your belly rises- this is abdominal breathing, which uses the lower lobes of the lungs.  
  2. Standing Breathing Exercise- Stand, place both hands on your belly. Take a deep breath in and expand your belly- this is the lower lobe of your lung deep breathing.
  3. Rib Lifting Exercise- Begin in a standing position with your arms crossed at the wrists in front of your waist. As you raise your arms overhead, breathe in. Relax and breathe out as you lower your arms.

Just like many functions of your body, lung strength can be greatly improved with regular exercise. If you become dizzy during breathing exercises, stop immediately. Don’t forget to also get outside and breathe in the fresh air when you have the chance- not only good for your lungs, but also good for your soul!

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