Breathe and move . . . Move and breathe.

Let’s talk about breathing and moving. Both complement each other. Breathing supplies the oxygen needed for enacting movement. Movement facilitates the proliferation of oxygen throughout the body. It is through movement that the overall tone of the body is maintained. Breathing exercises, per se, are critical for maintaining the pliability and the continued functionality of the structures responsible for full breathing. Take time to fully avail yourself of these important life functions.

Bandhas in action
Deep Breathwork

Breath – the air taken into and summarily expelled from the lungs, the process of which is called breathing. Movement – an act of changing physical location or position or of having this changed. It is through these modalities that allow humans interact with and manipulate their environment. Before rising from bed, we may take a few, actually full, breaths. We may then stretch our arms overhead and reach out through our legs / feet . . . . getting the day off to a positive start.

O2 effects on the body – the importance of Oxygen (O2) is that it is required as energy for bodily metabolic activity. Specifically, low-level to mid-level intensity activities are due to the consumption and distribution of O2 throughout the body. The supply of fresh O2 is key to the generation and removal of metabolites (waste) from the body. The mechanisms responsible for bringing in fresh O2 are the same ones responsible for removing CO2.  

Blood is the medium through which blood is distributed throughout the body. Movement is the function that assists in effectively transporting blood, and thereby O2. When the body moves, the muscles which effect said movement contract and relax. This in turn is a process by which blood is moved throughout the body and, by consequence, O2. The movements that the body is capable of performing are those which enables the O2 infused blood to be carried to every part of the body. Movement is part and parcel to living.

All movement can benefit the body

If nothing else moves us, life will. Yet, society today is structured so that movement is minimized. In U.S.A. western society, movement is being slowly weaved into functional infrastructure design. United States and other high-income countries have found that “walkability” (which is measured by such proxies as building density, land use mix, and street connectivity) predicts walking patterns (Durand et al., 2011Inoue et al., 2009Sundquist et al., 2011Van Dyck et al., 2010). Across countries, studies have also shown that physical activity by children is associated with features of the built environment, including walking-related features, and physical activity resources (Bringolf-Isler et al., 2010Davison and Lawson, 2006Galvez et al., 2010Sallis and Glanz, 2006).5

Necessity of breathing exercises

Breathing is a necessary function of sustaining the body. Yet, as with all things physical, the ability to breath fully diminishes with the passage of time. After about 35, lung function declines. As a result, breathing can slowly become more difficult over time. In a person without lung disease, most of these changes are due to cardiovascular and muscle changes, not changes to the lungs themselves. Thus is behooves one to engage in actions that help to keep the act of breathing conducive to maximal O2 uptake. Aerobic activities are good for developing the capacity to supply O2.  Yet, pranayama can improve cardio-respiratory efficiency in healthy individuals.

Everyone can increase their movement. Everyone should improve their breathing . . . .

Yes, both are important

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