DRS. OZ AND ROIZEN: Breaths of fresh air
Christopher Guest’s sendup of the folk-music scene in “A Mighty Wind” is so funny you’re left gasping for air. And although laughter often is great medicine, you don’t want to come up short of breath too often. Breathing fully and deeply helps lower your heart rate and blood pressure, promotes endurance and better calorie burn, reduces stress, eases pain and strengthens the immune system. Whew!
So here are three great ways to maximize your supply of oxygen and get all the health benefits.
Morning breathe-and-stretch. Stand tall, arms straight over your head. Inhale deeply and, as you bend forward, exhale (slowly); bring your fingertips toward your toes. (You don’t have to touch them!) Then, inhaling, slowly stretch back up to your original position. Repeat three times.
Midafternoon re-energizing breath. Sitting, rapidly inhale through your nose and exhale through puckered lips — about three times a second — until you are out of steam. Your diaphragm should go up and down. It’s tough, but try to do it for a full minute.
Sweet-dreams breathing. Stretch out and put your right hand on your upper chest and your left hand over your bellybutton. Inhale and let the air fill your belly and push it out so it’s big and full. Then slowly and evenly exhale and let your belly button sink way down to your spine. Don’t force it; just relax. Easy in and full-bellied; easy out and flat-bellied. Repeat 10 times. Z-Z-Z!
Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Medical Officer at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute. For more information go to www.RealAge.com.