My Itchy Travel Feet | The Baby Boomer's Guide To Travel

One Healthy Change a Month: Breathe Deeply

2013/06/05by Donna Hull

news from My Itchy Travel Feet

I’ll get out from behind this computer and breathe deeply if you will.

I want you do something for me. Take a breath. Now, do it again, only this time breathe deeply. Did you notice a difference? Filling our lungs with life-giving oxygen is good for our health, but how many of us consciously take deep breaths? Get ready, because that’s about to change if you join our June One Healthy Change a Month challenge to breathe deeply.

According to, deep breathing is a stress reliever, strengthens organs and is a natural pain reliever. The health site goes on to say, “When practicing deep breathing, the upward and downward movement that the diaphragm performs helps to remove toxins from our organs and promotes better blood flow.”

And an article in The Telegraph says that improper breathing techniques make us more susceptible to back pain. If correct breathing techniques will help me with my back pain (that surgery I had this winter didn’t completely do the trick), I’m all for learning to breathe deeply and correctly.

Why aren’t we breathing deeply much of the time? It’s all that sitting. I’ll raise my hand here. Working in front of a computer hour after hour has caused me to become a shallow breather. What can we do about it? Schedule breathing breaks. Use a reminder alarm on your smartphone or computer to take a break and breathe deeply. If you have an iPhone, it’s as simple as saying “Siri, schedule a breathing break, please.” I’m going to start out with 2 in the morning and another 2 breathing breaks in the afternoon. What about you?

This video from The Energy Project should help get us started:

What does breathing deeply have to do with travel?

In a My Itchy Travel Feet guest article about Keeping Travel Oopmh When You Travel, Health Coach Nora Lynch says that taking a few deep, relaxed breaths will recharge your battery and is also good for alleviating travel stress.

And if you’re traveling to a high altitude destination, strengthening your lungs with deep breathing exercises is a good way to prepare. Those strengthened lungs will help you combat altitude sickness.

Are you taking a hiking trip this summer? Prepare your body with an at-home walking and hiking regime. But you’ll also need to practice deep breathing as well. It’s how I prepared for our Road Scholar hiking program in Glacier National Park. I walked up and down a local hill practicing breathing exercises. It worked. I hiked 30 miles in one week at Glacier National Park and never became winded.

Do you have tips to help us breathe deeply? Please share them in our comments section. This is a simple change that we can all make. Let me know how you do!

It’s not too late to join our challenge. Click on One Healthy Change a Month to read more.

A boomer travel and lifestyle authority who is exploring the world one activity at a time. Besides writing and publishing My Itchy Travel Feet, she also writes about boomer travel for My Well-Being Powered by Humana, Make It Missoula and is the author of New Mexico Backroads Weekend Adventure.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Cathy Severson June 6, 2013 at 8:08 am

Love that! When I read the first words, I took a deep breath. We are program to do what we’re told, right? By nature, I think I’m a very shallow breather. Having asthma doesn’t help. Like anything, we can reprogram our natural tendencies. I spend a lot of time on my computer. I make sure I get up and walk around at least once an hour. I’m going to program myself to take a big breath as I start my journey-at the beginning and end. I’ll let you know how it works.


Donna Hull
June 7, 2013 at 7:57 am

Glad you like this one, Cathy. You are right, it’s just a matter of training and then it becomes second nature. Thanks for joining the challenge.
Donna Hull recently posted..One Healthy Change a Month: Breathe DeeplyMy Profile


noel June 6, 2013 at 11:09 am

Hi Donna,
I agree, when you are sitting in front of a computer, your focus is one different agendas. I take frequent trips just outdoors, look at the grass growing and take a nice deep breath, it definitely recharges my mind and body. Thanks for sharing this.


Donna Hull
June 7, 2013 at 7:58 am

You’re smart to break up desk time with going outside. My problem is that I become so engrossed that I look up and many hours have passed. That’s why I’ve started using phone alarms.
Donna Hull recently posted..One Healthy Change a Month: Breathe DeeplyMy Profile


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