The benefits of regular walking are numerous. Only half an hour a day will reduce stress levels and increase endorphin levels which will improve your mood.
Studies have also regular walks increase blood circulation, regulate blood pressure, reduce cholesterol levels, and the risk of early dementia.
At the same time walking is highly beneficial for your lungs, since many symptoms associated with lung diseases will be significantly reduced at the very least. In some instances, lung disorders can be completely eliminated with the daily walking routine.
When you train your lungs to work better, they respond. It’s not much different to muscle memory or training your brain to make new neural connections and strengthen patterns of behaviour.
Just like you need to exercise to build your muscles, bones, and tendons, you also need to exercise to keep other body parts in good working order as well. The results will be amazing.
The Art of Breathing Properly
Everybody knows the benefits of walking in the fresh air, but few people actually know how to breathe properly? Consequently, researchers say we need to pay more attention to how we breathe,
Because breathing is something your body does spontaneously, you may not be consciously aware of how you breathe. Studies show that people only use the top part of their lungs to draw in fresh air.
But shallow breathing means you’re not taking in a sufficient amount of oxygen that your body needs to stay healthy.
Shallow breathing can contribute to illness and disease because it weakens your body’s natural defence system. Oxygen is a key ingredient for creating white blood cells that help to support the immune system to fend off client invaders like fungi, bacteria and viruses.
Researchers also say that paying attention to how you breathe can also improve your mood. A study published in the Journal of Neurophysiology shows that paying attention to your breath activates brain regions linked to emotion, attention and body awareness.
Therefore, practising deep breathing and paying attention to your breathing whilst you’re walking will help to improve physical, mental, and psychological health.
The Importance Of Belly-Breathing
Breathing properly involved engaging your diaphragm – the air vent in your belly. There are several exercises you can do to practice breathing properly.
-“Upper” breathing in which only the upper part of the chest participates. Only the collarbone and shoulders are raised, the upper ribs are bulge, diaphragm movements are difficult and limited. This is the most inefficient way of breathing.
-“Medium” breathing in which all the ribs work, diverge and the chest expands, but other parts of the body remain immobile.
-“Lower” breathing, “stomach” breathing, or diaphragm breathing. Using the diaphragm when breathing means that when we inhale, this muscle contracts, pulls down, and thus allows the lungs to expand further. The diaphragms are also helped by the intercostal muscles, which additionally expand the chest and the lungs can be completely filled with air.
Next time you go for a walk, consciously choose to start breathing first from the belly, extend it out with an inhalation(“make a balloon”), and when exhale fully pull in the abs. We usually starve to have a flat belly and six-pack abs and we don’t allow the stomach to extend enough for proper inhalation.
Relaxed, Balanced Rhythm
Coordinating breathing and steps are very important since rhythmic breathing is soothing. The awareness of breathing makes us feel relaxed.
We focus by managing our thoughts on aligning breathing and steps. Thus our awareness of breathing connects the mind and body and brings us to a state where we can best measure, feel and dose the effort of walking.
Rhythmic breathing allows us to stay as relaxed as possible, reducing any stress that can disrupt activity.
Make sure you are breathing in through your nose, without any strain or effort. Exhalation should happen through the nostrils as well. Connecting your steps and your breaths can become a form of meditation in movement and a great way to improve overall wellbeing.
Download the sweatcoin app
Sweatcoin is an app designed to help improve your health by encouraging you to walk further and earn more. We convert your steps into digital tokens you can use with hundreds of merchants to buy goods and services online.
Download the sweatcoin app today and start earning whilst improving your health.