If you have been following my blog, you have read enough about what happens when we exhale and how important those exhalations are for us when we are in stressful situations. Now, the holiday stress is behind us and a new year and new decade await us. All things are possible if we set realistic goals and then go out and “just do it”. Let’s start with the most basic of all things, a deep breath.
If it’s brisk here this morning in South Florida, chances are good it’s brisk where you are, too! What better way to get invigorated on a cool crisp morning, than to just take some deep breaths of fresh air. Being mindful to what is going on when we inhale, helps us physically and mentally gear up to meet the challenges of our day.
Hopefully, you are not waiting until Monday to inhale. If you have made your resolutions and set your goals, there is really no excuse to wait even another day, to start behaving in a way that will help you keep those resolutions and get one step closer to fulfilling your goals. It’s time to take some nice deep breaths…and focus on the inhalation.
When we take a deep breath in, our diaphragm drops down and our intercostal muscles (between our ribs) work to open our ribs in every direction. These movements allow our lungs to absorb maximum amounts of oxygen. If you think of your lungs like the sponges they are, you can imagine the “sponges” or lungs and they get saturated with fresh air. Once those lungs are truly filled, they can then, along with the heart, pump the freshly oxygenated blood to all parts of our bodies, hence nourishing our “temple”. This process elevates our heart rate and energizes our bodies and minds. Think like a swimmer, getting ready for a swim.
As those intercostal muscles work to expand (and then contract) the rib cage, they also get stronger. Stronger rib cage muscles will not only look nice, but will much more importantly help to keep you healthy. Science tells me there are critical nutrients stored in the cells of those muscles, that will just sit in a holding pattern, till those muscles are forced to move. Pushing those nutrients to all parts of our bodies, help to nourish our entire beings, helping to keep us healthy. On a side note, though efficient, deep breathing will boost our immune systems and help maintain wellness in our bodies and minds, should we be so unlucky as to get a chest cold or cough, having stronger rib cage muscles and a better breathing capacity, will help you recover more quickly. The stronger your muscles are, the easier it will be to take deep breaths and you wont feel that horrible soreness, akin to broken ribs, as you might if those muscles were not used to working! You will probably rebound much more quickly as well! I think back to the story of Joseph Pilates and the flu of 1918.
If you live locally, I will be at Tamarac Fitness Center for my 9:30 for a cardio/sculpting/fusion class. I will bringing all my energy with me, so prepare to inhale, work hard and start get a step closer to your goal!
Wherever you are, don’t put off till Monday, what you can begin THIS day. If weight loss is your goal, you can actually be down a good 10-15 pounds by Valentine’s Day if you start today. Just suck in some oxygen and go get busy!