Have you ever watched a child or infant sleep? Not only is it a completely peaceful process, but watch them breathe. Their lungs and belly completely fill with air.
So often in our busy lives, we forget to breathe. Sure we take a breath...or else there would be a lot of dead bodies lying around...but we don't really breathe. We don't fully fill our lungs with air and then expell all that air out. We don't take a moment to inhale, feeling our bodies fill with oxygen, rejuvenating our muscles and mind, and then push all that air out, as we let go of all the tension, stress and toxins our bodies have accumulated over the course of a day.
We all know that breathing and oxygen are essential for life to continue. Ask a patient who is put on a breathing machine how vital oxygen and taking a deep breath are to healthy living and you'll have a whole new appreciation for the process we take for granted each day! Oxygen fuels our whole body, without it our muscles (heart, lungs and brain included) can not function at their best.
So take a minute...or 5 if you have the time....and focus on your breathing. Slowly inhale, feeling your lungs fill with air and your chest and belly rise. Then exhale it all out, pulling in your abs and pushing every last drop of air out. Feel your body start to relax as you focus on something other than that growing to do list. Feel your muscles come alive as they receive the oxygen they need to thrive. Feel your mind become more alert as you breathe deeply and give it a chance to rest and rejuvinate. Feel your abs contract, getting stronger and toner without performing a single crunch (deep breathing really is the best ab workout you can do for yourself!).
The best part about breathing deeply, besides feeling better, lowering your stress level, and strengthening your abs (and who doesn't want a better looking mid-section with swimsuit season coming up!), is that you can do it anywhere. While waitting at a stop light. At the doctor or dentist office. In a dull office meeting. Watching the kids play at the park. Watching tv. The list goes on! No special equipment or exercise clothing required!
So take a moment today to really breath! Your abs, muscles, lungs, heart and brain will thank you for it!!!!