When a baby was born years ago, the doctor encouraged the initial breathing by spanking the baby. Why? To breathe is to live. Breathing is life.

Yet, the practice of breathing with intelligence is seemingly a foreign concept in western civilization education.

For years as an asthmatic, I felt my main concern was to get oxygen into my lungs, the alveolar sacs. However, I discovered carbon dioxide elimination was just as important as inhalation.

This intelligent breathing is learned behavior. Oxygen is more precious than water. The body can survive days without water, while oxygen deprivation is less than 90 seconds for well-trained athletes.

A famous coach said, “Fatigue makes cowards of us all. Run out of oxygen and helplessness is the reality.”  It is crucial for all athletes to increase lung capacity and develop breathing performance. Intelligent breathing begins with mind control perfected with self-regulation of the body.

Therefore, here are some intelligent breathing exercises requiring at least 10 minutes of time.

  1. Practice OXYGEN INHALATION. Sit upright, relax the body and close the eyes. Breathe in through nostrils for four seconds with diaphragmatic breathing. Pause. Then exhale through pursed lips for four seconds. Work up to 20 repetitions.
  2. Practice CARBON DIOXIDE EXHALATION. Say “F” while exhaling for four seconds; say “S” while exhaling for four seconds; then say “F” and “S” while exhaling for four seconds. Say “Ho” while exhaling for four seconds, especially working on the upper part of the lungs; then say “Ha” while exhaling for four seconds, especially working on the upper part of the lungs.
  3. Add PHYSICAL MOVEMENT to these intelligent breathing exercises. Nitric oxide helps dilate blood vessels in our lungs so that we can receive good circulation there for the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide. Short walks help this circulation. 

If exercising properly, the brain also receives better oxygen circulation. It needs a constant supply of oxygen by correct breathing because it uses three times as much oxygen as muscles do.

The most blessed discovery will be that breathing is done by the whole body, a God-given rhythmic activity. It supports the passion of life!