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Just breathe

Posted by allison

Just Breathe. You are strong enough to handle your challenges, wise enough to find a solution to your problems, and capable enough to do whatever needs to be done. Lori Deschene

Sometimes in life, it feels like you cannot breathe. It might be because we are running too hard, it might be because we are lifting heavy weights, and sometimes it might just be what is going on in your life. Taking time to breathe is so important not only during exercise but also in your everyday life.

While you are exercising, it is so important that you exhale on the positive, or way up motion and inhale as you are bringing it back down. Breathing will change the way your muscles feel, and your body feels during that exercise movement. When you are running, rowing, or biking, the most important thing to do is breathe, and your body will naturally find its rhythm. But if you are having trouble finding the rhythm- try two steps inhale/two steps exhale. When I am running, I like to count. I know it sounds weird, but I will count repetitively in my head, and it helps get my breathing in check, it helps me not to run too fast when I am going the distance, and it helps me reach my goal when I am sprinting on the Woodies. The whole time my breath is in check. That does not mean that you do not feel out of breath or that it is not hard. It just means you have control over your breathing, so recovery time is more productive in getting the oxygen to the working muscles.

Breathing is meditative, it is essential for our bodies, it is calming, and it is comforting. In our every day lives, sometimes we do not take enough time to just literally stop and breathe. Recently, I set a goal for myself to get my Group Fitness Instructor certification. It is something that I have always wanted to do for me. I have not taken a test in 25+ years, and when I was younger, test-taking was not exactly my strong suit. I was so nervous. On the morning of my exam, I dropped my girls off at their schools. As my oldest daughter was getting out of the car, she looked at me and said, mom, before you are going to take your test remember to breathe. Take a four-count inhale in through your nose, hold four seconds, and take six counts to exhale out through your mouth and relax. When I arrived in Salt Lake at the exam center, I sat in my car, and I just took a minute to breathe. My daughter's advice worked, and I passed my exam.

Every day I set an intention for myself to breathe. My plans only take about a minute, you could do this at the end of a workout while you are stretching just close your eyes for 30 seconds and take in a few cleansing breaths. Take a minute to breathe when you are out on a walk or while you are driving, turn off the radio, and breathe. It is so important to breathe when you are in situations that are stressful and overwhelming, or when you are feeling angry and frustrated. Even in happy times look around and enjoy the moment. It makes all the difference to just breathe.

No matter what this week brings for you, maybe you are moving, perhaps you are starting a new job, perhaps you just have a full week.... I ask that you live in the moment, live in the breath.