#Smallchanges Natures Super foods – Oxygen
We breathe it in every day but we always take it for granted. It’s as simple as without oxygen there would be no life on this wonderful earth. Let’s just call it vitamin O as I think it deserves that status. From a nutrition point of view the combination of food and oxygen allows us to burn calories. Oxygen is responsible for nearly every chemical reaction in the body and really helps us to burn fat.
Focus on your breath!
Increasing your body’s oxygen intake is more about changing the depth rather than the rate of each breath. Respiration is a process that we as humans have little control over but there are techniques you can use to accomplish each breath are well within your control. Learning and adopting correct breathing techniques serve to increase your body’s oxygen intake,
“According to the American Medical Student Association, is one of the best ways to protect your physical and emotional health!”
You do not need to hook yourself up to a machine for your oxygen fix there are free sources of oxygen include deep breathing, exercise (increase your oxygen uptake and utilise more oxygen like doing cardio or aerobic exercise), nature (there is a higher oxygen density outside urban environments), non air-conditioned open air environments and Pilates and yoga encourage better breathing.
Small changes to step up your oxygen game in the following ways:
Breathing – 3 steps to better breathing
Close your mouth. Start breathing through your nose. Just think as you inhale that mechanisms that ensure a proper balance between the intake of oxygen and expulsion of carbon dioxide are in your nose. If you breathe in through the mouth it creates a different type of breathing pattern that upsets this balance by decreasing oxygen intake and releasing carbon dioxide too quickly.
Breathing in through the nose promotes a deeper, slower breathing pattern that increases oxygen intake.
Practice proper breathing. Do this until it becomes a habit. When you are breathing properly, you are breathing through your nose and your chest and abdomen are moving in unison. If only your chest is moving, you are breathing too shallow and oxygen is not reaching the lower lung area.
Exercise – This will strengthen your core muscles and improve your posture. Poor posture inhibits the free flow of oxygen and affects blood oxygen levels. Your posture-building exercise program should consist of a combination of exercises. These include aerobics such as swimming, walking or biking for overall fitness and posture exercises that target trunk muscles, increasing muscle strength to a level where your back muscles are strong if not stronger then your abdominal muscles.
Make the following small changes to your lifestyle:
- Be more aware of your breathing pattern inhale through the nose as the diaphragm lowers and give a good deep extended exhalation through the abdominals to release the air and internally cleanse the body. The volume of fresh air brought in by deep breathing will translate into more oxygen available for your lungs to distribute to your red blood cells and to your vital organs.
- Get outdoors and wrap up on your lunch break and get some fresh air into your lungs.
- Try to stay out of air conditioned spaces as much as possible and surround yourself with natural fresh air.
- Keep the quality of air as high as possible by not smoking and avoiding second-hand smoke. Enclosed areas with poor ventilation also impede the amount of air and thus oxygen your lungs take in. If outside air quality is poor, stay inside until it improves.
- Exercise enough to strengthen your heart and lung muscles. Regular, brisk walks may be all it takes to help improve your oxygen intake and blood flow.