Hi everyone! Happy May! Wow, I almost can’t believe we are in May already. Time has been flying at ‘On Broadway’® Dance Fitness HQ, who else has loved our ‘I’m Still Standing’ routine?
Speaking of our previous routine, if you haven’t seen it yet, Rocketman is now on Netflix! If you’re a fan of Elton John, or just loved dancing our last routine with us, you’ll love this film. Enjoy! If you weren’t with us for our ‘I’m Still Standing’ routine, here’s a little look at what we got up to, click here to watch a short video.
Over the weekend I had my instructor team over for drinks in my garden. It was so nice to all be together in person again after such a long time. The sunshine came out for us too, bonus!
One breath at a time…
When life gets busy or things happen that our out of our control it can feel like we have no space to ‘breathe’. I’m sure lots of us can relate to this feeling. However, this is the exact time when it is important to take some time out, even just ten minutes, to breathe and centre yourself in order to refocus your energies and your mind. Have a read of my tips below on just how breathing properly can really help make everything better.
Benefits of taking time to BREATHE
Practicing deep diaphragmatic (otherwise known as belly breathing) has lots of health benefits, and is amazing for your overall wellbeing. In fact, research shows that practicing belly breathing for as little as 10 minutes a day will significantly reduce your chance of developing serious illness, you’ll be able to handle stress more effectively and generally have better overall health and well-being. Deep diaphragmatic breathing is one of the simplest, yet most effective, ways of improving your health. And what’s better? It involves no cost and very little time!
To help you realize the importance of deep diaphragmatic breathing, here are 12 benefits to regularly practicing this healthy habit:
- Reduces the risk factors for heart disease such as lowering bad cholesterol (LDL), raising good cholesterol (HDL), lowing blood pressure and stabilizing blood sugars
- Reduces negative stress by lowering the stress hormone (cortisol)
- Helps reduce cravings for processed carbohydrates (junk food)
- Cuts chances of diabetes by strengthening the insulin beta receptor sites
- Improves quality of sleep by improving stage 1 and stage 4 sleep cycles
- Lengthens the cell’s life span by cleansing the cells more thoroughly through increased lymphatic flow
- Slows the aging process by increasing the secretion of human growth hormone (the anti-aging hormone)
- Optimizes the immune system by strengthening T-cell formation and improving lymphocyte production
- Improves your mood by elevating the “feel good” hormone, serotonin, and other positive endorphins
- Improves mental focus and concentration by increasing blood flow to the Pre-Frontal Cortex of the brain
- Improves the quality and effectiveness of meditation by changing brain wave activity from the more stressful beta wavelengths to more relaxing and healthier alpha and theta brain wavelengths.
‘How do I reap the amazing benefits of deep diaphragmatic breathing?’ I hear you say!
Here are some top tips!
- Sit in a comfortable chair with your eyes closed and inhale very slowly through your nose using your diaphragm (your belly should expand while you inhale with little or no chest movement).
- Once your lungs are full and your belly has expanded, hold your breath for about 6 to 12 seconds.
- Then slowly exhale through your mouth making sure you use your belly to push the air out.
- Once your lungs are empty and your belly is contracted, repeat the cycle.
- Your goal is to complete 10 cycles· (inhale, hold, exhale) or 8 to 10 minutes of deep diaphragmatic breathing a day.
- The best times to practice this type of deep breathing is first thing in the morning and right before you go to bed. To enhance the benefit of deep breathing, I suggest visualizing your goals or picturing your ideal life while practicing this habit.
For the next 30 days, I challenge you to practice deep diaphragmatic breathing for at least 10 minutes a day everyday. This is one of the best prescriptions for improving your health and optimising your wellness.
Have a great month and remember to ‘breathe’!