When I was a child I lived with constant chest infections and was pretty much always on some type of medication. Whenever I did any form of exercise, I would lose my breath and often have an asthma attack. The advice I as given was to do no exercise at all as exercise clearly wasn’t good for me. Although I didn’t realise it at the time, in fact this was the opposite of good advice! Rather, I needed to strengthen my lungs through breathing deeply during exercise, because my lungs had become weak from lack of use.
A friend of the family advised me to take up swimming and gymnastics to strengthen my body and my lungs and improve my overall fitness. This completely changed my life for the better. I was exercising, breathing properly and strengthening my body and my mind. My health started to improve from day one, the exercise I was doing was really fun (it’s key to enjoy what you do) and it proved to be the best medicine.
Good breathing comes from your lower rather than upper torso. Each breath should expand your belly, your lower back and ribs. Think about filling up a glass of water. Water starts at the bottom of the glass and rises to the top.
Getting the most out of each breath is really a case of ‘use it or lose it’ – your lungs need exercise, just like the muscles of your arms, legs, abdomen and all the rest. If you can relearn how to breathe properly, like you did when you were a child, you can strengthen your lungs, increase their capacity and make sure you’re flooding your body with life-giving, health-giving oxygen that will help keep you forever young.
This is an excerpt taken from Living Forever Young by Skip Archimedes, publishing this June by Watkins Publishing Ltd.