Keeping your heart healthy can be a challenge for anyone, but there are particular difficulties when you’re recovering from an accident, illness or are otherwise unable to exercise. You know that walking, jogging or other aerobic exercises are key to heart health, but did you know that something you already do thousands of times each day can help, too?
Benefits of Breathing for Your Heart
Deep breaths help oxygenate your muscles, but they can also make your heart work a little harder — which is a good thing! Breathing exercises can improve your circulation, lower your blood pressure, enhance your mental outlook, improve the quality of your airways and even strengthen your bones. These four simple breathing exercises may be exactly what the doctor ordered to help keep your heart health in check.
1. Breathing From Your Diaphragm
Taking deep, measured breaths really works your core and your heart muscle. Start with one hand on your chest and the other below your rib cage, lying on the floor with a pillow under your knees. You’ll slowly pull in air through your nose for three slow counts, keeping your chest still. Your exhale should be even slower: six counts where you tighten stomach muscles and gently release the air.
2. Nostril Breathing
Being mindful of how you are breathing may also improve the quality of your breaths. Try closing one nostril and taking a cleansing breath through the other one. Switch nostrils, then repeat.
3. Focus on Your Breath
Breathing is something that happens automatically, but you can mindfully control your breathing. Focus on slowing down your breathing, and moving completely through each action. This can even become a sort of meditation, as you clear your mind and take deep, cleansing breaths.
4. Counted Breaths
While this may be seen as yet another way to focus on deep breathing that helps work those cardiac muscles, counted breaths are also known to help reduce stress and agitation. Try breathing in to the count of 4, holding for 7 beats, and then slowly release your breath for eight full counts.
When your loved one requires in-home healthcare, you need a resource that you can trust to provide high-quality, compassionate care. The professionals at Santé work with individuals in all stages of life, providing a full spectrum of care from skilled nursing to rehabilitation services and hospice. Contact us today at 480-563-2402 or fill out our quick online form to receive more information about how we can help you or your family.