Do you ever experience shortness of breath? From Asthma to Allergies there are many reasons why we might struggle to breathe especially during daily activities. One reason that is often not considered is how, as we age, posture and breathing mechanics impact our ability to comfortably breathe during activity.
What Happens to Our Breathing as We Age?
As Americans we tend to sit too much during our lifespan. Whether it be in a car or at a computer we slowly give in to gravity. As our mid back posture rounds and our head thrusts further and further forward we decrease our lung’s ability to fill and empty air. This can contribute to a number of different health issues. Rather than list all the negative issues let’s look at some of the benefits of proper posture and proper breathing mechanics.
How Can Better Posture Improve Breathing?
When we combine improved posture and breathing mechanics we can help in:
- Reducing low back pain through improved reflexive abdominal (stomach) muscle use.
- Decreasing stress incontinence aka urine leakage with activity
- Decreasing Acid Reflux
- Normalizing system acidity and decrease inflammation and pain on a daily basis
- Balancing your ability to remain relaxed (balanced fight and flight response to stress)
- Improved ability to transfer air from the lower lobes of your lungs and decreasing the opportunity for germs to create disease
How do I start improving my posture and breathing?
Begin with practicing sitting up tall without arching your low back. Breathe in slowly (3 count) through the nose with a normal size breath. Breath out slowly (3 count) through the mouth. Try it for one minute 3x per day. You should not have any pain, dizziness or difficulty performing this activity. If you do consult your doctor.
This article is NOT medical advice. Please consult your physician prior to beginning any exercise activities. If you have any pre-existing lung, heart or any other medical conditions please consult your physician prior to beginning this or any other exercise program.
Source: JD Physical Therapist