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Deep breathing....an essential 1st step.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Have you stopped to consider your breathing lately?? As an overweight person I know that my breathing isn't a deep as it should be. So that tells me I'm not exchanging enough oxygen into my body. Big deal you say?????

HUGE deal, actually. Deep breathing brings many of the benefits of exercise, including weight loss! While it's not a substitute for exercise (if only it were that easy), it can be a great way to start an exercise program. Why? Because it's a great way to raise your cardiovascular capacity, which encourages fat burn in our body. Good thing, huh!

I read an article about three types of breathing techniques and thought I would share:

Simple deep breathing

The most basic thing to remember is that your breath begins with a full exhalation (I know this seems counterintuitive, but it’s true). You can’t inhale fully until you empty your lungs completely. It is also important to breathe in through your nose.

Now try this: Sit in a comfortable position with your hands on your knees. Relax your shoulders. On your next exhalation, breathe out slowly through your nose, counting to five. Tense your abdominal muscles, drawing in your diaphragm to help your lungs deflate. At the bottom of your breath, pause for two counts, then inhale slowly to the count of five. Expand your belly as you breathe in. Now close your eyes and repeat 5–10 times. Think of your diaphragm as the pump and your breath as the power.

If you find that your mind wanders during this exercise, don’t worry. Just refocus on your counting. Some of my patients find it helpful to think of a happy color (like yellow) when they breathe in and a droopy color as they breathe out (like grey). As your awareness of your breath increases, you’ll find that it becomes easier to breathe deeply without so much attention.

The Bellows, or Fire Breath

Many forms of yoga begin with breathing techniques, or pranayama. Prana means ‘breath’ or ‘life force’ in Sanskrit. The bellows breath is a yogic exercise that stimulates energy when you need it, toning the abdomen and massaging the internal organs and lymph system. Though not deep breathing, the bellows does activate the lungs, neck, chest and abdomen so that deeper breathing comes more naturally.

Again, sit in a comfortable position. With your mouth closed, breath in and out through your nose as fast as possible. Think of pumping up a balloon or water toy. Try to breath in and out as equally as possible. Continue for 10–15 seconds, no more at first. As you become more accustomed to this technique you can increase the exercise to one full minute.

Three-part breathing

This yoga technique is very useful during times of stress, or at any time you need to relax. It is extremely relaxing and can be done before bed to assist with sleep issues.

Again, sit comfortably and close your eyes. With your mouth closed, exhale deeply through your nose. Imagine that you are pouring the breath out of a jug, starting at the top of your chest and moving down through your mid-torso and into your diaphragm. Pause for two counts at the bottom of the breath, then inhale through your nose. Refill the “jug” slowly, counting to five (or seven if you can make it). Start at the bottom, expanding your diaphragm and belly, then your mid-torso, and lastly the top of your chest and lungs. Pause for two counts and exhale as before. Repeat 5–10 times.

Deep breathing is also a great way to relieve stress! Some days are better than others!! Today was one of those stress days. I had to help fire someone who probably won't be able to find another job. No matter how right it is to do it.....I can't rid myself of compassion for the person. It's a hard thing...so I am practicing my breathing for two reasons tonight......for the stress relief I need and to build my cardiovascular capacity.........

Just breathe.........



  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DEEGIRL50 1/19/2010 3:59PM

    Gives more meaning to "take a deep breath" or even a "breath of fresh air."
Very relaxing and feel good techniques. Thanks for posting them.

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GINILEE4 1/19/2010 12:56PM

    Keeri, Thanks for this. I tried it and I really enjoyed the feeling of calmness that I felt afterwards. Now if I can only remember to do it often.


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ID_VANDAL 1/19/2010 10:57AM

    Hi Keri - good blog - I tried the first one at work and it amazing how much better I felt - more relaxed.

I think I'll print it out and post it in my cell.

Take care!



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MSLZZY 1/19/2010 7:14AM

    So much good information-thanks for sharing! emoticon

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NANCY- 1/19/2010 2:30AM

    I love to breathe.

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JANIELEE54 1/19/2010 12:19AM

    I say that often: Breathe in, breathe out, and repeat. I say it often but I don't actually do that consciously very often.

Tomorrow I shall try to breathe deep: I know it is good for the soul!

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POSITIVELY_EB 1/18/2010 10:46PM

    emoticon Breathe in!
emoticon Hold for a second!
emoticon OK! Now blow out!!!

Great blog! As a singer, I know how important breath is!

Hugs! Beverly

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Inspiration for the day!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

I am dragging a little today. I have had a lot of early morning meetings this week and now I need a nap! Though I think it would look suspicious if I took a nap at my desk this morning. Not too sure anyone would be very understanding!!! Maybe I need to learn how to nap with my eyes open! emoticon

I need some inspiration today! Let's see.....

Take care of your body. It's the only place you have to live.

Go back a little to leap further.
John Clarke

"The higher your energy level, the more efficient your body. The more efficient your body, the better you feel and the more you will use your talent to produce outstanding results."

Anthony Robbins

We learn wisdom from failure much more than success. We often discover what we will do, by finding out what we will not do.
Samuel Smiles

There is no pleasure in life equal to that of the conquest of a vicious habit.
- Anonymous

Let him that would move the world first move himself.
- Socrates

Have a great day, and keep moving!!!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JANIELEE54 1/24/2010 12:48AM

    Nice post! It lifts my spirits!

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FROGGIEGAL 1/16/2010 11:50PM

    Love it!!!

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RAP1259 1/16/2010 6:32PM

  Just getting started. This looks great===need lots of motivation to keep up my spirits so I sure hope this works.

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HICALGAL 1/14/2010 5:25PM

    thanks for sharing! hope you're inspired! emoticon

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MSLZZY 1/14/2010 2:18PM

    I expect my energy level will drop tonight, about 11. We have such wonderful sunshine and right now, I have energy to spare! Should I email you some? LOL! emoticon

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POSITIVELY_EB 1/14/2010 12:47PM

    Thanks for sharing! Those are great!

Hugs! Beverly

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PEGGYMAS1 1/14/2010 11:50AM

    I like this

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Why is this sooooo important??

Monday, January 11, 2010

I didn't do so well with Bootcamp last week.

I don't have any valid excuses. (I can always come up with excuses!)

I think I let myself get a little intimidated by the fact that I can't do many of the exercises shown in the videos. Why can't there be videos depicting the reality of many Sparkers? Even writing about this topic is nothing new.....you've heard it from many of us.

Unfortunately, it goes back to so many of our perceived roadblocks to getting healthy. You know the ones.....if I could squats, I could lose weight.........if I could afford fresh fruits and veggies, I could lose weight, if only my back....feet....didn't hurt.....you get the picture.

And it isn't like I don't know that I can modify these exercises or do something else entirely. I even chose to walk on my treadmill one day last week. I can't seem to keep exercise as a priority. I get up in the morning, have a 1/2 hour commute, work 9 hours, 1/2 hour commute, then it is time to make dinner when I get home. After that I am exhausted. Sounds like another excuse, huh?

This is the thing I need to work on.....making exercise important, fun and something I want to do consistently. I need a plan.........and I will make one today!!!

I just have to remind myself.....Why is this soooo important? I spent some time with Clinton and Kim Friday night and we were looking at Clinton's pictures growing up and I was surprised just how long I have been overweight. Makes me sick to think about it actually. I don't want that anymore.

I need to get my body to want what my mind wants. Hmmm..........

No excuses................

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

POSITIVELY_EB 1/12/2010 6:43PM

    You called???!!! LOL! What may I do to assit you, madame??
Hugs! Beverly

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ID_VANDAL 1/12/2010 2:28PM

    Hi Keri - you sure generated a lot of interest with this blog didn't you?

Exercise is hard and I know what you mean about the videos - I've tried that before and I find it so boring but when I come up with the answer you'll be the first to know. Until then each of us needs to find something that will motivate us to make it a priority but it's hard because we do not see the immediate results.

Pictures do help since looking at them is a great reminder of where we are or where we want to be. I feel like I've wasted my 40's and 50's by being so overweight I did not want to go anywhere or do anything with people. Fortunately we still have time to get on with the rest of our lives so we better take advantage of that gift!




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LUCKYDUCK2 1/12/2010 1:53PM

    Wow, you nailed again with something I really needed to "hear" today. THANK YOU!

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MSLZZY 1/12/2010 8:24AM

    If it was easy, we wouldn't be here! If you make exercise a priority, even 15 minutes, the effects would be worth it. Every day and any way, it counts! Why is it important? You decide! Because you are unique and you are special and I want to see you here for a very long time!
Life is too short to settle for second-best! Do your best and know that you are a winner!

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DEEGIRL50 1/11/2010 7:56PM

    What works for me... walking on my lunch hour and talking friends into trying new classes with me.

I love your blog and the right-on-the-mark clipart.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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FELICE73 1/11/2010 3:33PM

    It is hard when your body is not shaped like the "models" in the videos! I have had struggles with some "moves". The goal is just to keep moving!

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KELLYC_14FAN 1/11/2010 1:57PM

    That is why I dislike almost every exercise video out there....none of those people look like me...

Sometimes it is hard finding the time and the motivation...My mom works out on her lunch break. Are you able to do that?

Good luck!

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P316LEIA 1/11/2010 1:53PM

    Keri....this is sooooooooo important because you are sooooooooooooo important and 2B Healthy is what You want!! So the first week of boot camp didn't go well ~ it didn't for me either ~ Today is a new day and you can choose to make today a good day for yourself. Choose well my friend because you can do it!!

emoticon Kimi emoticon

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NOW2DAY 1/11/2010 1:44PM

    Great blog. I was watching the info for Malibu Pilates and wondered myself could I ever look like those people? I have found the exercises on boot camp a little intimidating and hard. That ball is not good to use just starting out exercising.
I think we might have to find own way when it comes to exercise. I have been a little sore and realize I will be sore until I get use to exercise. To begin with walking is great and then find some easy beginner videos. How bad do we want this and are we ready for the change? Haven't we been asking ourselves that forever.

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AMBERROGUE 1/11/2010 1:21PM

    You CAN do it! Motivation is a lot like bathing. It doesn't last. That's why it's recommended daily!

I look forward to hearing about your plan!

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TINYC887 1/11/2010 1:17PM

    i had a hard time with the bootcamp too so if i couldnt do them i did my own thing.

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TRIGFROST 1/11/2010 1:08PM

    To size it up in a Nutshell:

Question; Where did you get these cute "Exercises" e-mail me back --Please...

Comment edited on: 1/11/2010 1:11:04 PM

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Prayers make blessings!!

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Sparkpeople are amazing! Thank you so much for the prayers and words of support. I am happy to say that things turned out okay and I should have a new grandchild at the end of July!!!! I got to see some very neat pictures of the baby and I can tell you Clinton and Kim were very relieved and happy. They have not had an easy time lately. That is a story for another day, but they want this baby very much. So again. thanks for everything....you are the most amazing group of people and I believe that prayers make all the difference.....

Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

Grandma Keri

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

VICUNJA 1/28/2010 1:40AM

    I am so, so pleased for you! WHat a wonderful start to the new year! x

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VGIMLET 1/10/2010 11:48PM

    Excellent news, very happy to hear it. emoticon

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SLIMMERJESSE 1/9/2010 10:45AM

    Fabulous news! Have a happy day and weekend.

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POSITIVELY_EB 1/9/2010 10:44AM


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KELLYC_14FAN 1/9/2010 9:27AM

    That is wonderful news!!! Congrats to your family!

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MSLZZY 1/9/2010 8:57AM

    Wonderful news after a bad scare! emoticon to all!

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DEEGIRL50 1/9/2010 8:16AM

    emoticon for sharing your Joy with us! emoticon

emoticon emoticon

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NANCY- 1/9/2010 7:21AM

    . I am so happy for you all that things turned out okay.

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GINILEE4 1/9/2010 5:35AM

    Blessings and congrats to you and your family. I know the power of prayer and it was there for alll of you. I hope this is a little boy to go with your little girl. I have a big smile right now,

Gini emoticon

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LOVEZ2SEW 1/9/2010 1:49AM

  AWESOME! Enjoy your weekend!! God is good - all the time! emoticon

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A little sadness comes my way......

Friday, January 08, 2010

I get to pick up Aubrey after work tonight. That is an unexpected joy. I didn't expect to see her. She's my youngest grandbaby. I can't wait to see her.

Unfortunately, the reason I will be seeing her is because Clinton and Kim went to the Dr. today to hear their baby's heartbeat for the first time. They didn't hear one.......so they have to have an ultrasound this afternoon to find out if there is a viable baby there.

I am praying for good news and praying they can handle any news they may receive. They were so happy about the baby. I just have to share that as I can't keep my mind on much else. I will fill you in later.



  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ELLENIRENE 1/9/2010 6:42AM

    my prayers are with you, too

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LOVEZ2SEW 1/9/2010 1:46AM

  Awe my goodness, I was just on your page leaving a comment and then I see this blog. I'm sorry! I will keep you and your family in my prayers. Hugs to you! emoticon

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MOMOFBOYS 1/8/2010 11:34PM

    Many prayers............

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POSITIVELY_EB 1/8/2010 9:11PM


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BOLAURAOK 1/8/2010 8:01PM

  I will say a prayer for you.

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GINILEE4 1/8/2010 7:54PM

    You and your family have all my prayers. I know this must be a most painful time. I pray all is well.

Gini emoticon

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AUNTX4 1/8/2010 7:54PM

    I'll keep them in my thoughts and prayers. I know it must be a scary time for all of you. emoticon

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VGIMLET 1/8/2010 7:08PM

    Sending you and your family positive thoughts that all is well.


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LUCKYDUCK2 1/8/2010 5:26PM

    I am joining everyone here with prayers of my own that all is well. I hope all news is good news.

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SLIMMERJESSE 1/8/2010 5:25PM

    Hoping for good news in your next blog.

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AGLINZY 1/8/2010 5:01PM

  Sad to hear. Sending prayers to you and your family

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LINDAGRAVEL 1/8/2010 5:01PM

    I'll say a prayer that everything is okay.

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MSLZZY 1/8/2010 4:57PM

    My heart goes out to you and I pray for a viable pregnancy. It was the same for me with my fourth pregnancy but all was well. It just took extra testing. That was 21 years ago! I will be waiting to hear of positive results. emoticon

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-WRKNG2ABTTRME- 1/8/2010 4:56PM

    Prayers & emoticon

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KELLEY106 1/8/2010 4:56PM

    I'll say a prayer

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