THE BLOG

Breathe Your Way to Better Health

08/09/2014 15:50 BST | Updated 08/11/2014 10:59 GMT

We breathe approximately 25 thousand times per day without thinking about it and yet most of us are getting it wrong, to the detriment of our physical and mental health.

Our hectic daily lives are stopping us from breathing optimally, sometimes we get lightheaded if our breathing gets lodged in our chest, sometimes we forget to breathe as we concentrate on emails and hold our breath without realising, we rush round in a state of stress causing our breathing to become ragged.

Poor breathing during the day affects sleep at night and can cause false hunger pangs, leading to overeating and weight gain. Yawning and sighing constantly throughout the day are common indicators of poor breathing as are tightness in the neck, shoulders and even jaw.

I've spent the last 25 years measuring and studying breathing patterns and teaching clients and patients about breathing. In fact, years ago when I worked in a health screening clinic I noticed that over 75% of the clients (not patients - these were 'well' corporate employees) were breathing sub-optimally in ways that would make them stressed, chronically exhausted, overweight and insomniac. It is very important to our health to get our breathing right.

No it's not possible to monitor every one of those 25 thousand breaths - most of our breathing is unconsciously generated - but life today is so speedy that we unconsciously get into bad breathing habits.

My advice is simple - just for 21 days become even slightly obsessed with your breathing. Notice it five times a day: first thing in the morning before you get out of bed, last thing at night as you drift off to sleep, and then find three other times during the day. Put your feet on the ground, drop your breathing into your belly, exhaaale long and inhale fat.

Breathe well consciously so you can breathe well unconsciously.

And the return on investment? More energy, better sleep, better health, clearer thinking, better decisions, healthier choices, a juicier life. Who wouldn't want that?