Hi, it’s Peg and I’m here to tell you, and to show you, how important your proper breathing is during your post-stroke rehab. It’s even important for everyone, whether they are post-stroke, or not!
5 Simple Principles of Proper Breathing
You’ve heard it before - breathe in & move one way / breathe out & move another way. Or, breath in & expand / breathe out & release.
DO NOT HOLD YOUR BREATH at any time while you are exercising! Be aware of your breath while you exercise. For example, when I am doing my Chair Raise-Ups, I make sure that I breathe in when I lift my leg up and then I exhale when I lower my leg back off the chair.
I have heard and read a lot about breathing (just ask my brother, Don) and this is a combination of what I’ve found out so far, and am using for myself.
Breathing impacts both our psychological and physiological states. And our breathing (if it is not done correctly) will cause things such as muscle tension to high blood pressure and all things in between. Good breathing is therefore important for our overall good physical and mental well-health. The way to ensure good breathing is to change to proper diaphragmatic breathing to enhance good relaxation.
The reason for breathing is to get oxygen in our body and get carbon dioxide out. Diaphragmatic breathing involves an in-and-out movement of the abdomen that causes this to happen. The diaphragm is the major muscle used in our breathing. It is that large and dome-shaped muscle at the bottom of our lungs.
Diaphragmatic breathing is intended to help you use the diaphragm correctly while breathing so you:
I will now share with you a Diaphragmatic Breathing Technique.
Lie on your back on a flat (soft and cushioned) surface, with your knees bent and your head supported.
You can use a pillow or a cushion under your knees and neck to support your legs and head.
Place one hand on your upper chest and the other just below your rib cage.
This will allow you to feel your diaphragm move as you breathe.
Breathe in slowly through your nose so that your stomach moves out against your hand.
The hand on your upper chest should remain as still as possible.
Tighten your stomach muscles, and let them fall inward as you exhale through tightly pressed (almost closed) lips. The hand on your upper chest should continue to remain still.
When you are first learning this breathing technique,
it may be easier for you to follow the instructions lying down.
Then you can try this sitting in a chair, and then standing up.
God Bless, Peg
“Success isn’t measured by money or power or social rank.
Success is measured by your discipline and inner peace.” Mike Ditka
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