Guided Breathing: The Perfect Active Recovery Activity
Breathing. The bodily function you do naturally is actually pretty incredible if you think about it: with each inhale you’re bringing in fresh oxygen and ridding your body of carbon dioxide with each exhale, empowering every cell in your body to not just survive but thrive.
But effective breathing can do so much more than just fuel our living processes.
While breathing is second nature, you may be surprised to learn that most people don’t breathe effectively. Keep reading to learn more about deep breathing, its benefits and how to practise it using the Prevayl App for a more holistic approach to fitness.
What Is Deep Breathing
Deep breathing (also known as diaphragmatic breathing, abdominal breathing, belly breathing, and paced respiration) is a practice which involves taking slow, deep breaths in through your nose, then exhaling completely. This enables more air to flow into your body and fill your lungs and chest. But not just any breathing will do. Those inhales and exhales need to be slow and deep.
Try it – take a deep breath in for a count of four, hold it for a count of four and, finally, let it out for a count of four.
You may notice a difference in how you feel already. Your breath is a powerful tool, and some simple deep breathing can make a big difference if you make them part of your fitness routine. In fact, it’s the perfect active recovery activity for days when you’re advised to rest by BodyCheck™.
Why Breathing Is Vital to Your Health and Fitness
Deep breathing is a practice that plays a huge role in fitness success.
When you’re breathing quickly and shallowly through your nose, you’re taking in air through a smaller airway, which can increase the stress response and delay recovery in the short term immediately after an intense workout. In contrast, by taking slower and deeper breaths, you can breathe in much more oxygen and ultimately signal the brain to wind down.
By adding a bit of mindfulness to the simple in-and-out, you can access your parasympathetic nervous system – which is responsible for relaxation and recovery – and train it to get out of the stressed state.
Deep breathing has also been shown to lower pain levels and improve sleep, among many other benefits. But, most importantly, it can shorten your recovery time, helping you recover faster between sessions.
How to Practise Deep Breathing Using Prevayl
Regulating your breath is easy using the Prevayl App’s Guided Breathing feature, which takes you through a technique known as box breathing.
Box breathing (also goes by the name square breathing) is a technique that helps to slow down your breathing. It works by calming your nervous system and decreasing stress in your body. It’s a simple but powerful technique that helps reset your breathing pattern to a relaxed rhythm, whilst clearing and calming your mind, thus recentering your focus.
Here’s how to practise box breathing using the Prevayl App:
- Tap the + button on home screen
- Select Guided Breathing
- Make sure your Sensor is paired and connected
- Tap START GUIDED BREATHING
- Follow the instructions on screen
Though the exercise only lasts five minutes, you can do it for longer to get even greater benefits. For best results we recommend that you try to do it once or twice a day.