Healthy Life Tip – Belly breathe to restore heart health

By Susan Foard

Did you ever notice that a dog doesn’t show you his belly unless it feels calm and happy? In order to lower your stress levels, your stomach needs to feel calm to tell your brain to release restorative  hormones into your body. Belly breathing is one way of restoring heart health.  This means when you inhale your belly expands and when you exhale your belly relaxes.  

According to Christopher Bergland of The Athlete’s Way: “Diaphragmatic breathing (also referred to as slow abdominal breathing) is something you can do anytime and anywhere to instantly stimulate your vagus nerve and lower stress responses associated with “fight-or-flight” mechanisms. Deep breathing also improves heart rate variability (HRV), which is the measurement of variations within beat-to-beat intervals.”

So when you notice anger, stress, or worry rising, do take time – wherever you are and whatever you are doing, to take 3 deep, slow belly breaths. It will do you and your heart a world of good.

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