As we all know, walking is an immensely useful activity for the body. Walking aids in weight loss, helps in diabetes control, helps to maintain a healthy heart, fights depression and alleviates mood.
What are you doing with your breathing? Have you ever even thought about how to breath? The many benefits of walking can be further increased by combining walking with proper breathing techniques. Improper breathing very often dilutes some benefits of walking. With the adoption of the right breathing techniques, the body can not only have all the benefits of walking but can have some additional benefits too.
Breathing is the most essential human activity, it needs to be deep and comprehensive. While walking, the breathing needs to be coordinated with the steps being taken. Breathing needs to be deep and in consonance with the steps being taken while walking. At the beginning of a walk, breath normally but make sure to breath-in through the nose instead of breathing-in through the mouth. Next step is to make the breath slow, deep and controlled. Each inhalation should last four walking steps (fewer if you are nordic walking) and thereafter each exhalation should also last four walking steps. In other words one single act of inhalation and exhalation should last eight walking steps (fewer if you are nordic walking). At no point of time, the breathing should feel deficient. The whole point is to make the process comprehensive, as well as coordinated with the walking. If the co-ordination breaks, the process should be started again without getting impatient or angry. Controlled breath walking produces more stamina, reduces back ache and significantly improves heart capacity.
During the whole process, the breathing should be deep, controlled and through the nose. This act of breathing and walking should be continued for a duration of five minutes. After the five minutes, a break of three minutes should be taken and the process continued again. If practiced diligently, the controlled breathing can be done in an instinctive and hence easier manner.
If you have not tried Nordic Walking, I suggest you buy a set of walking poles to combine with your new breathing technique!