Experiencing shortness of breath is alarming, regardless of what may be causing it. Shallow breathing deprives you of oxygen, and as a result when coupled with slouching it can create patterns of imbalance in the body. Posture and lung capacity are connected. In fact, that connection builds either a positive cycle or a negative one. When inhalation is restricted the body tightens up, and when the body is tight your posture collapses and your ability to inhale deeply is affected.
What can cause shortness of breath?
Overtime, the collapse of posture and pressure on the lungs and internal organs make it physically impossible to enjoy the deep, full, cleansing breaths that are vital for our health.
Moreover, our body is trained in the patterns of our regular movements, meaning our muscles get better at doing whatever you ask them to do most. If your habit is towards shallow respiration and a slouched posture, breaking that habit and negative cycle becomes difficult.
Therefore, everything you do with poor form, from sitting at work to working out, will reinforce and strengthen poor posture. Muscles that should be long and lean contract and are tighter. Muscles that should be strong and holding you upright are overly stretched and weak.
Finding balance in your body again requires awareness of the problem, and then systematic changes in exercise and daily habits.
Shortness of Breath Improves with Good Posture. Try this:
- FIRST: Sit down on your couch, take a deep inhalation. Notice what that feels like.
- NOW: Stand up straight, look straight ahead and take another deep inhalation. Notice what that feels like.
Was your lung capacity impacted when you stood up?
Did it feel like you could inhale longer and more deeply?
We know it did because when you remove restriction of the lungs by lengthening your body, your lung capacity increases.
While this is a great demonstration of how posture affects how much the lings can hold, you do need to be able to breathe properly regardless of whether you’re sitting, standing or walking. This is how postural exercise helps.
The 7 Steps to StrongPosture® program teaches you step-by-step how to improve posture, breathe correctly and deeply, strengthen balance, move fluidly and then to make changes in your home, exercise and work habits to maintain the improvements you’ve made.
Pretty soon you’ll be feeling lighter and brighter, breathing more easily and naturally without even thinking about it! Read more from the Natural Health interview with Dr. Steven Weiniger here.
Dr. Steven Weiniger