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Breath Work: Benefits & Purpose


senior fitness with meredith

There is no question that breathing and breath work are vital. Breathing is what keeps us alive, our brains stimulated and functioning, and our lungs and heart working. But it is also beneficial in multiple ways. 

There are so many other positive benefits of focused breathing. In my workouts, I constantly stress the importance of breathing. I make it audible for the viewer to hear, and verbally give instructions when to inhale and exhale. 

The main reason behind my constant instruction is I know how we, as participants in exercise, can concentrate to the point of almost forgetting to breathe properly. Also when a workout is higher intensity and exertion level is greater, such as lifting heavier dumbbells, holding the breath seems to be what we want to do. The thought of forgetting to breathe seems impossible, but it is not and is more common than one would believe. 

There are so many benefits to practicing correct breath work, in taking those nice deep inhales and deep exhales. These long breaths can aid in stress and anxiety reduction; improve mood; decrease depression; all by allowing you time to stop and focus on the breath while calming the mind and body. 

Deep breaths can also boost your immune system and make you more energized, by bringing more oxygen into the blood cells. Also, sleep is improved when we focus on our breathing. Taking time to listen to our deep inhales and exhales help us to “zone out” from the usual busyness of our days. Breath work helps to quiet the mind and nervous system. 

Breathwork is even looked at as a specific training method. Some do breathwork for certain lengths of time during the day, or periodically throughout the day. It can be a meditative practice for many. For my purposes, I want to bring general awareness to the breath. I want readers and exercise participants to remember the importance of their own breath. 

To take time, whether just during exercise or all throughout the day, to listen to and concentrate on your breathing. Focus on the deep inhales, as well as the deep exhales. Clear the mind, focus on the present and not the past or the future.

Now, let’s do some breathwork together!

Sitting nice and tall in your seat (with a tight core, strong straight spine), close your eyes (as long as you do not have any vertigo or dizziness issues), and take a deep inhale. Hold it for a second. Now slowly release it ALL out. Again, deep inhale, hold, and release fully. 

Do that five times in a row, allowing the mind to release any thoughts. Only listen to the breath and focus on right now; where you are in the present, staying positive and happy with that. You have now started your breathwork journey! 

Try to do this at least once a day, and while exercising always focus on your breathing. This will help you stay All Over Strong! 

Stay happy, healthy, & positive always!