Proper breathing is something most of us fail to do and yet it is so vital to our health. However, with a little determination we can learn to master this simply health changing technique. God counseled us many years ago about the effects of poor breathing.
“The training of the voice has an important place in physical culture, since it tends to expand and strengthen the lungs, and thus to ward off disease. To ensure correct delivery in reading and speaking, see that the abdominal muscles have full play in breathing, and that the respiratory organs are unrestricted. Let the strain come on the muscles of the abdomen rather than on those of the throat. Great weariness and serious disease of the throat and lungs may thus be prevented.” – Chid Guidance, p. 365
“It is Satan’s design so to pervert every function of our being that life may be made miserable, and God may be dishonored in the creatures he has made. If women make the customs of the world their criterion, they will become unfitted, both physically and mentally, for the duties of life. Many have done themselves untold injury by compressing the waist. Their power to do good in the family and in society is greatly lessened; and if they are mothers, their children are robbed of vitality. When the waist is compressed, the circulation of the blood is impeded, and the internal organs, cramped and crowded out of place, cannot perform their work properly. It is impossible, under such circumstances, to take a full inspiration. Thus the pernicious habit of breathing only with the upper part of the lungs is formed, and feebleness and disease are often the result.” – Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, p.88
“In order to have good blood, we must breathe well. Full, deep inspirations of pure air, which fill the lungs with oxygen, purify the blood. They impart to it a bright color and send it, a life-giving current, to every part of the body. A good respiration soothes the nerves; it stimulates the appetite and renders digestion more perfect; and it induces sound, refreshing sleep.
The lungs should be allowed the greatest freedom possible. Their capacity is developed by free action; it diminishes if they are cramped and compressed. Hence the ill effects of the practice so common, especially in sedentary pursuits, of stooping at one’s work. In this position it is impossible to breathe deeply. Superficial breathing soon becomes a habit, and the lungs lose their power to expand. A similar effect is produced by tight lacing. Sufficient room is not given to the lower part of the chest; the abdominal muscles, which were designed to aid in breathing, do not have full play, and the lungs are restricted in their action.
Thus an insufficient supply of oxygen is received. The blood moves sluggishly. The waste, poisonous matter, which should be thrown off in the exhalations from the lungs, is retained, and the blood becomes impure. Not only the lungs, but the stomach, liver, and brain are affected. The skin becomes sallow, digestion is retarded; the heart is depressed; the brain is clouded; the thoughts are confused; gloom settles upon the spirits; the whole system becomes depressed and inactive, and peculiarly susceptible to disease.– MH 272, 273.” – The Voice in Speech and Song, p.192
“It is essential to health that the chest should have room to fully expand, so that the lungs may be enabled to take full inspirations of air. Many who have died of consumption might have lived their allotted term of life had they dressed in accordance with the laws of their being. The strength of the system is, in a great degree, dependent upon the amount of pure fresh air breathed. If the lungs are restricted, the quantity of oxygen received into them is also limited, the blood becomes vitiated, and disease follows. Confinement in-doors and consequent deprivation of the invigorating sunlight and the exhilaration of exercise in the pure open air, complete the ruin begun by wrong habits of dress; feebleness and premature death are the result.” – The Health Reformer, February 1, 1877 par. 5
If you are able to give yourself five to ten minutes each day to practice deep breathing then you will definitely reap the rewards. This is one of the best, most effective exercises you can do for free, every day.
Some good breathing exercises consist of breathing in the following ratio:
Breath in for 1 count
Hold for 4 counts
Breath out for 2 counts
For example – if you were to breath in for four seconds, then you would hold your breath for sixteen seconds and then breath out for eight.
If you are able to do this ten times, three times a day (morning, evening and before bed) you will notice a huge difference to your energy, your clarity and your ability to ward off illnesses.