Try breathing better in the new year

One of the biggest health and wellness trends for 2018 is predicted to be breath work

  • Jan. 9, 2018 5:30 a.m.

BY TAMMY TOOR

Happy New Year! Did you know that one of the biggest health and wellness trends for 2018 is predicted to be breath work? Breath work is

In their book The Healing Power of Breath, doctors Richard P. Brown and Patricia L. Gerbarg write, “Studies are revealing that by changing the patterns of breathing, it is possible to reduce stress, calm an agitated mind, relieve symptoms of anxiety and improve physical health and endurance.”

Sounds powerful. There are many ways to improve your breathing, but here are three tried and true breathing exercise methods that, if practiced, are sure to improve your health:

Pursed-lip breathing method – This is the easiest one to start with. With relaxed shoulders, take a normal breath in for about two counts. Then pucker your lips and exhale for about four counts. Repeat this pattern a few times.

4-7-8 method – In this technique, you exhale through your mouth and then close it and inhale through your nose for four counts. You hold the breath in for seven counts and then release it for eight counts. Repeat at least three times.

Belly-breathing method – Also known as ‘abdominal breathing.’ With your shoulders back, keep one hand on your chest and the other on your belly. As you breathe in deeply for about two seconds, your belly should stick out a bit. Feel the air expanding your stomach and then breathe out slowly through your lips.

By incorporating breathing exercises, a message is sent to our nervous system saying that things are okay resulting in a reduction of anxiety and stress. Like mastering any new skill, these methods take practice, but you can practise these skills almost anywhere and anytime.

Parks and recreation has many programs available for registration to keep you active and healthy this winter season, including a variety of yoga and fitness classes that incorporate better breathing techniques. Even taking an arts and crafts, cooking, language and music class can be a great stress reliever. Check out our activity guide, visit our website at www.nanaimo.ca or call our experienced staff at 250-756-5200 for details.

The staff at parks and recreation wish you and your family a happy, healthy and active 2018!

Tammy Toor is a graphics and communications specialist with the City of Nanaimo.

Just Posted

Bear cubs try to take Nanaimo woman’s Christmas cookies

Incident happened in the early-morning hours today, Dec. 18, in Chase River

Santa’s helicopter hospital hop brightens day for sick children in Nanaimo

Santa visits by B.C. Air Ambulance to bring smiles to young patients and hospital staff at NRGH

Team Slovakia takes to the ice in Nanaimo ahead of World Juniors

Slovaks to play pre-tournament game against the Czech Republic on Dec. 19 at Frank Crane Arena

Nanaimo mayor and council salaries going up

Pay increase intended to offset loss of tax exemption

Free breakfast and dinner available for less fortunate on Christmas Day

7-10 Club Society hosting annual Dec. 25 meals including dinner at Generations Church

Sea Kings’ final flight holds special meaning for Nanaimo family

Dozens of people turn out with family of pilot to wave farewell to Sea King helicopters

School kids supporting Coins for Kids

Pleasant Valley Elementary making change for charity

FortisBC says you can return to normal gas use following pipeline fire

Utility says increased pipeline capacity, warmer weather have allowed supply to reach normal levels

CSIS collected info on peaceful groups, but only in pursuit of threats: watchdog

Security Intelligence Review Committee says fears unjustified after reviewing evidence, testimony

Canada ranks 16th on annual gender gap list

This is the second year Canada has placed 16th in the World Economic Forum’s list

VIDEO: Tornado rips through city west of Seattle

Reports indicate five to seven homes damaged in Port Orchard, Wash.

Trial date postponed for man charged with killing Abbotsford police officer

Oscar Arfmann’s trial pushed back from January to May 2019

Privacy watchdog says legal cannabis buyers should use cash, not credit

Some countries could bar entry to individuals if they know they have purchased cannabis

‘A start:’ Alberta critical of Ottawa’s $1.6B package for ailing energy sector

A further $150 million is to be used for clean growth and infrastructure projects

Most Read