The energy surrounding the holidays is supposed to be jolly, exciting, and festive, right? More like annoying, stressful, and exhausting. You could celebrate every single holiday or none of them but no matter what, the energy around us is stressful! People are rushing, stores are pushing deadlines and in-your-face marketing, the baked goods far outnumber the fruits and veggies at the grocery store, and the events, parties and gatherings are just NON! FREAKING! STOP!
I could give you a few relaxation techniques to help get you through this time of year but in all honesty, will you stop to do them?
Nope. Who has the time?!
Okay, everybody BREATHE.
I don’t mean just breathe……I mean really BREATHE. If you are reading this then clearly you are breathing but are you really BREATHING? Most likely not. Our breath is typically shallow and at the chest. To reap the true benefits of breathing, you must breathe into your belly first, filling it with air from the bottom to the top. When you exhale, do it slowly and empty from the top of your chest to the bottom of your belly. Imagine filling a cup with water. It fills from the bottom all the way to the top and when you pour it out, it empties from the top all the way to the bottom. Count to 5 on the inhale and on the exhale.
Now, breathing is just one small technique that you can try that is dripping with benefits. The best part is that you can (and should) do this while sitting in traffic, waiting in line, or while reading this blog (wink wink!).
Okay, I’ve explained the how – now here’s the why:
- Deep breathing releases around 70% of toxins
- Boosts your energy
- Lowers your blood pressure
- Strengthens your heart and lungs
- Relieves stress
- Strengthen your immune system
- Relieves pain
- Relaxes the mind and body
- Gives clarity and clears the mind
- It makes you happier!
Give yourself the gift of breathing this season. It’s literally the gift that keeps on giving! And from mine to yours, have a relaxing holiday season and a healthy New Year!
– Sarah C., Exercise Physiologist and Assistant Fitness Director