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Slow steady extended exercise is actually a type of breathing therapy

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I have always been a terrible breather. I am a breath holder. I blame growing up in Hawaii and spending all my extra time freediving. That said, I have been thinking about oxygenation since the age of Coronavirus and since I started using a home ventilator, called a CPAP, and I think slow, steady, aerobic, exercise is another form of therapeutic breathing.

Slow steady extended exercise is actually a type of breathing therapy

Row Daily, Breathe Deeper, Live Better: A Guide to Moderate Exercise by D.P. Ordway

We sedentary humans tends to breathe shallowly.

When I go hiking or for a brisk walk or even a bike ride, I breathe much more deeply and much more regularly—even if I am neither sweating nor panting.

Most of the time one sculls on the river, one only gently rows or rows spiritedly, and one also enjoys much fuller, deeper, breath. The cardiovascular and musculoskeletal are not the only beneficiaries of slow running, slow rowing, brisk walking, or recreational cycling.

The respiratory system and blood oxygenation benefits as well. Sadly, too many people look at exercise machines like the Concept2 Indoor Rower as torture devices. All my friends from college crew feel that way as do all my friends who are in the CrossFit cult.

I, on the other hand, see the benefits of slow rowing on the erg just because 80% of all my life's rowing have been busily collecting as many meters as possible for all the virtual team and individual challenges that Concept2 put on and host every year. 

Spending between 20-90-minutes every day rowing easily has always given me amazing benefits in terms of range of motion, better mobility, stronger knees, better circulation, and much nicer legs.

But, luckily, I am not the only person to think so. Dustin Ordway feels the same way and wrote a book about it, Row Daily, Breathe Deeper, Live Better. Sadly, the book is only available in hard and soft cover.

I bought the ebook when it was available, but no longer. Maybe there's somewhere else you can find it online, but I highly recommend it. Check it out on Goodreads

Since Mr. Ordway no longer offers this book on Amazon Kindle, I will spoil the entire book and give you all the advice, boiled down to a nice wine reduction of wisdom: “Row moderately for 45-minutes to an hour every day of your life, without fail.” And I am doing it, but now I know better.

Exercising is not only a way to move blood through your arteries and veins and to make your heart stronger and more efficient, exercising also makes you respirate with a regular, steady, deeper if not deep, breath. And not only this, for me, is enough.

When I get back into slow jogging, that'll make me breathe deeply, and when I get back onto my treadmill desk and onto my Keiser M3 bike and into the world of Zwift, it'll also force me to break in and out, in support of even my moderate effort.

And, when I return to my endless kettlebell swing, and any other weightlifting, getting your in and out breaths are very important, which is another for of breathing therapy, of breath meditation. It's all extremely good stuff and I encourage you to do it, too.

This week, I shall be getting back onto my beloved Surly Steamroller and that will help my everything, including my breath. That, and the walk I am going to do after I press publish on this article to my blog.

I let my car and my motorcycle go for that very same reason: I don't need to pedal or walk or move or breathe when I am moving about on or in anything that has a 100-226 horsepower engine.

I have a one Chris engine and I want it to be the strongest, most durable, most efficient engine it can possible be, and slow and steady exercise of at least 45-90 minutes every day, including of everything, is my pathway to that goal—and for the rest of my life. 

What ChatGPT Thinks

Your article touches on the importance of slow, steady, extended exercise for breathing therapy and overall health. Here are some additional points and details that you may want to consider including:

  1. Diaphragmatic breathing: Also known as belly breathing, this technique encourages deep breathing by engaging the diaphragm, which is the primary muscle responsible for respiration. Incorporating diaphragmatic breathing into your slow exercise routine can help further improve oxygenation and lung function. It can also help to reduce stress and anxiety.

  2. The impact of posture on breathing: Maintaining proper posture during your slow exercise routine can help facilitate better breathing. When you slouch or hunch over, your diaphragm cannot expand fully, leading to shallow breaths. Focus on keeping your chest open, shoulders back, and spine straight to promote better oxygen flow.

  3. Breathing exercises for off days or rest periods: On days when you're not engaging in slow exercise, consider practicing breathing exercises to maintain and improve your respiratory health. Some examples include pursed-lip breathing, box breathing, and alternate nostril breathing.

  4. Progression and variety: As you become more comfortable with slow exercise and your breathing improves, consider gradually increasing the intensity or duration of your workouts to continue challenging your body and promoting better health. Also, consider adding different types of low-impact exercises, such as yoga, tai chi, or Pilates, to your routine for variety and to work different muscle groups.

  5. The importance of rest and recovery: While engaging in regular exercise is essential for maintaining good health, it is equally important to allow your body time to rest and recover. Make sure you're getting enough sleep and taking rest days as needed to prevent overtraining and potential injuries.

In summary, to further emphasize the benefits of slow, steady, extended exercise for breathing therapy, you could discuss diaphragmatic breathing, the impact of posture on breathing, additional breathing exercises, progression and variety in your exercise routine, and the importance of rest and recovery.

What Bard Thinks

I think you have a lot of great information about the benefits of slow, steady exercise. I'm glad you're adding it to your resolutions!

Here are a few additional things to keep in mind:

  • Start slowly and gradually increase the amount of time you spend exercising.
  • Listen to your body and take breaks when you need them.
  • Be sure to warm up before you start exercising and cool down afterwards.
  • Wear comfortable shoes that support your feet.
  • If you have any health concerns, be sure to talk to your doctor before starting a new exercise routine.

I hope this helps!

Here are some additional things that you might want to consider:

  • Choose an activity that you enjoy and that fits your lifestyle.
  • Find a workout buddy to help you stay motivated.
  • Set realistic goals and track your progress.
  • Reward yourself for your accomplishments.

Incorporating slow, steady exercise into your life is a great way to improve your health and well-being. I hope you find an activity that you enjoy and that helps you reach your goals!

Sep 30, 2020 12:50 PM