The breathing process starts with the inhalation of air through the nose, and down into the organs called the lungs. The lungs are connected with the abdominal muscle known as the diaphragm. The expansion of the lungs and contraction of the diaphragm pushes the incoming oxygen molecules into the red blood cells in the arteries, that carry it to the heart and throughout the body. Oxygen is the fuel that the body tissues use to energize our system.
After the oxygen is used as needed, it is exhaled as the by-product called carbon dioxide. Other toxins are also expelled through the breathing process.
Foolishly, I smoked for many years. I regret having exposed my loved ones to the effects of second-hand smoke, because even though I didn't smoke in the house for most of my children's growing up years, the smoke was on my clothing. It is wonderful that none of them smoke and that their health is good. I am so blessed to have regained good use of my lungs, although there are times when the air is high in particulates-- i.e, fine liquid or solid particles such as dust, smoke, mist, fumes, or smog-- when I struggle to take in air and exhale fully, especially during the night.
I recognize how necessary the breathing process is to other body processes: digestion, sleep, weight management, circulation and, of course, mental processes.
Because I value the powerful effects of good oxygenation more in my 50s than I did in previous decades, most of my fitness and wellness has either a high component of aerobic movement or I diffuse certain pure essential oils to raise the oxygen and reduce or eliminate air-borne toxins. I also believe that applying pure organically-grown essential oils helps to oxygenate my blood, increasing my energy levels and general health.
I am big into rebounding back into life, and bounce on my high-quality mini-trampoline for twenty minutes every morning. Here are some good-quality rebounders:
I get out and walk where I know the air is cleanest: along a beach or on a forest or mountain trail. Having a dog really is an incentive to get out and walk, although I wouldn't acquire a puppy solely to achieve that goal.
And having grandchildren around really inspires physical movement and the taking in of good, fresh air. Many of today's strollers are even designed with a brisk clip or a jog in mind. I love going for walks with the little girls. Everything is new and novel for them, from squirrels to big old drifting autumn leaves.
My advice is to invest in a good pair of walking shoes and a good rebounder if you want to start a healthy de-stressing and exercise program that leaves you glowing and energetic and not with a bad back and a costly unused gym membership.