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One Healthy Change a Month: Breathe Deeply

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.


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