At NuDreem, we believe that small changes can have a big impact on our health and wellbeing. One such change is practicing deep breathing for just five minutes a day. In this blog post, we will explore the many health benefits of this simple practice, with a particular focus on how it can help to lower blood pressure.
First, let’s take a closer look at what deep breathing actually entails. When we breathe deeply, we engage our diaphragm muscle, which helps to expand our lungs and fill them with air. This triggers a relaxation response in the body, which can help to reduce stress and promote feelings of calm and wellbeing.
There are many different breathing techniques that can be used to achieve these benefits, but one of the simplest is known as “belly breathing”. To practice this technique, find a comfortable seated position and place one hand on your belly and the other on your chest. Inhale deeply through your nose, allowing your belly to expand as you breathe in. Exhale slowly through your mouth, allowing your belly to contract as you breathe out. Repeat this for five minutes, focusing on the sensation of your breath moving in and out of your body.
Now, let’s explore some of the specific health benefits of deep breathing, and how it can help to lower blood pressure.
- Reducing stress and anxiety
One of the main benefits of deep breathing is that it can help to reduce stress and anxiety. When we’re stressed or anxious, our body goes into “fight or flight” mode, which triggers the release of stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. These hormones can cause our heart rate and blood pressure to rise, which can put us at risk for a range of health problems, including heart disease.
Deep breathing activates the body’s relaxation response, which can help to counteract the effects of stress and anxiety. This can lead to a reduction in cortisol levels, as well as a decrease in heart rate and blood pressure.
- Improving cardiovascular health
Deep breathing can also help to improve cardiovascular health by increasing blood flow and oxygenation. When we breathe deeply, we take in more oxygen, which is essential for the proper functioning of our cells and organs. This increased oxygenation can help to improve circulation and reduce the risk of heart disease.
- Lowering blood pressure
Perhaps one of the most compelling benefits of deep breathing is its ability to lower blood pressure. High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke. According to the American Heart Association, over 100 million Americans have high blood pressure, which is about half of all adults in the country.
Research has shown that deep breathing can help to lower blood pressure in both the short and long term. One study published in the Journal of Human Hypertension found that practicing deep breathing for just five minutes a day over a period of eight weeks led to significant reductions in blood pressure among participants.
Another study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that practicing deep breathing for just 15 minutes a day over the course of eight weeks led to significant reductions in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
So how does deep breathing help to lower blood pressure? One theory is that it activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for the body’s “rest and digest” response. This can lead to a decrease in heart rate and blood pressure, as well as an increase in relaxation and feelings of wellbeing.
Deep breathing is a simple and effective way to improve your health and wellbeing, with particular benefits for lowering blood pressure. By incorporating just five minutes of deep breathing into your daily routine, you can reduce stress and anxiety, improve cardiovascular health, and promote feelings of relaxation and wellbeing.
So take a deep breath, relax, and enjoy the many benefits of this powerful practice.