DAY 3

THE CHALLENGE OF 4 DAYS

30-45 min - No equipment needed - Day 3/4

Breath holding exercises relieve stress and stimulate the vagus nerve, having a calming effect on the body and lowering the blood pressure and heart rate.

1. WARM-UP

10 min - No equipment needed - Day 3/4

OBJECTIVE

Day 3 warm-up focuses on using pursed lip breathing naturally and on strengthening the respiratory muscles.

 

SUMMARY

Regular exercise will strengthen the respiratory muscles. Having stronger respiratory muscles will make your breath holding exercises easier and more natural. Never force yourself to hold your breath!

EXERCISES

1. Basic breathing

2. Directing your breath into different parts of the body

3. Pursed lip breathing

4. Strengthening the diaphragm

5. 30-sec breath-hold x 5

 

BASIC BREATHING 1 min

1.

Sit or lie on your back in a relaxed position. Breathe through the nose. Take three deep breaths. Then allow your breathing become even and find its natural rhythm.

 

2.

Bring one hand to your rib cage and the other on your abdomen. Notice whether it is your abdomen or chest that rises when you breathe in.
 

3.

Make a conscious shift from chest breathing to abdominal breathing. As you breathe with your diaphragm, your abdomen will rise and your rib cage will remain still. Keep the breathing rhythm relaxed and natural.


 

When you are able to consciously breathe with your diaphragm you will allow conscious relaxation. Practising diaphragmatic breathing for just 1 minute allows your body to relax when needed.

 

BASIC BREATHING 1 min

 

DIRECTING YOUR BREATH INTO DIFFERENT PARTS OF THE BODY 1 min

1.

Sit or lie on your back in a relaxed position. Breathe through the nose. Take three deep breaths. Then allow your breathing to become steady and find its calm, natural rhythm. 

 

2.

Breathe into different parts of the body, two breaths at a time. Start by breathing into the diaphragm. The abdomen rises while breathing in.

3.

Direct the breath into the chest. The chest rises while breathing in.

 

4.

Then, direct the breath into the sides. Feel your sides expand outward while breathing in.

5.

Send your breath to your upper back area. Feel your back rise while breathing in.

Continue the exercise for 1 minute.

 

DIRECTING YOUR BREATH INTO DIFFERENT PARTS OF THE BODY 1 min

 

CONTINUOUS PURSED LIP BREATHING X 5

1.

Gently blow the air out of the lungs through your mouth.

 

2.

Using pursed lips breathing, fill up your lungs with air for 6 seconds.

3.

Hold your breath for 10 seconds.

4.

Empty your lungs entirely from air using pursed lip breathing for 12 seconds.

5.

Hold your breath for 10 seconds.

The pursed lip breathing technique will activate your diaphragm and your respiration. The tension in your rib cage will ease off and continued exercise will enable more air to enter the lungs.

 

CONTINUOUS PURSED LIP BREATHING X 5

 

STRENGTHENING THE DIAPHRAGM

1.

Gently blow air out of the lungs through your mouth.

 

2.

Relax your diaphragm. Once the diaphragm is relaxed the lungs are filled with air and the abdomen bulges out.

3.

Blow out the air vigorously, making a swooshing sound in three parts: “S – S – SSS”.

4.

Relax the diaphragm and allow the lungs to gently fill with air. Don’t take in more air.

5.

Repeat 10 times and breathe calmly for 20 seconds.


 

Do 2 sets with 10 repetitions each.

 

STRENGTHENING THE DIAPHRAGM

 

30-sec BREATH HOLD x 4

1.

Using pursed lip breathing, fill your lungs with air as slowly as you can. First use the diaphragm, then expand your rib cage. 

 

2.

Relax. Drop your shoulders and let your head gently fall forward.

3.

Hold your breath for 30 seconds.

4.

Let the air out of the lungs and breathe calmly for 30 seconds.

5.

Repeat the exercise four times.

 

If breath holding feels difficult, you can always interrupt a single breath hold and take a longer breathing break. NB It is easier to stay relaxed, when you don't fill your lungs completely full. Try testing both options during the breath holding exercises.

 

30-sec BREATH HOLD x 4

 

WARM-UP COMPLETED

If the exercises feel challenging to you, you can repeat the daily exercise for several consecutive days.

 
DAY 3

CHALLENGE OF 4 DAYS

30-45 min - No equipment needed - Day 3/4

Everyone can learn to hold their breath by learning certain skills.

 

2. SKILLS

3 min - No equipment needed - Day 3/4

OBJECTIVE

You will learn to understand the sensations brought about by breath holding, and their cause. 

You will get used to increased carbon dioxide levels.

 

SUMMARY

During breath holding, you will eventually feel the urge to breathe. This is not caused by a low level of oxygen, but by increased carbon dioxide partial pressure. Carbon dioxide builds up in the body when we don't breath it out.

 

Breath holding exercises will help you get used to increased carbon dioxide levels.

 

Tolerance for increased carbon dioxide levels will help in achieving improved tolerance for any type of exertion. Among other things, it promotes the efficient absorption of oxygen from the blood to the muscles. Greatly increased partial pressure of carbon dioxide activates the production of EPO hormone in the body, thus improving oxygen uptake.

EXERCISES

1. One-breath breath-hold

 

ONE-BREATH BREATH-HOLD

1.

Gently blow air out of the lungs through your mouth. 

 

2.

Using pursed lip breathing, slowly fill your lungs with air.

 

3.

Hold your breath for 30 seconds.

4.

Empty your lungs and immediately fill them again using pursed lip breathing.

5.

Do many repetitions as you can. The number of repetitions is increased as you continue to follow the exercise program and your body adapts to increased carbon dioxide levels.

In the beginning, three repetitions may feel like a lot or work. If you are able to do more than 10 repetitions, the next step is to try the exercise with your lungs less full of air.

 

Each breath-hold will feel more difficult due to the increased carbon dioxide levels, despite the oxygen in the body. Carbon dioxide does not get out of the body during one exhalation. Increased carbon dioxide levels will trigger the urge to breathe.

 

ONE-BREATH BREATH-HOLD

 
 
DAY 3

CHALLENGE OF 4 DAYS

7-10 min - No equipment needed - Day 3/4

Always hold your breath for as long as it feels comfortable.

 

3. BREATH HOLDING

15-20 min - No equipment needed - Day 3/4

OBJECTIVE 3

Learning level 1 breath holding.

SUMMARY 3

During respiration, gas exchange takes place in the lungs. From the air that we breathe in, oxygen is transferred though the lungs to be used as fuel by cells. Carbon dioxide, produced in the combustion, is normally exhaled.

 

During breath holding, the carbon dioxide levels in our bodies increase. Our bodies’ response to increased levels of carbon dioxide can be intense and take many forms.  Typically, the first response is breathlessness, or in case of breath holding, a strong urge to breathe.

 

As our bodies adapt to increased carbon dioxide levels, it becomes easier to identify the various sensations related to breath holding.

 

INSTRUCTION 3

The next objective is to learn to identify explicitly, in which areas of the body you can feel the very first sensations of breath-hold.

 

When the breath holding creates a clear sensation, take a few seconds to pinpoint the areas of your body where you can feel the sensations. Describe in our mind the sensation. Then, begin breathing.

When you feel the urge to breathe for the first time, you have already experienced the very first sensation.

EXERCISES

Level 1

 

Breathe for 30 sec.

Hold for 15 sec.

 

Breathe for 30 sec.

Hold for 30 sec.

 

Breathe for 45 sec.

Hold for 45 sec.

 

Breathe for 2 min.

Hold until the very first sensation.

Describe in your mind the sensation.

 

Breathe and stop the counter.

 

BREATH HOLDING LEVEL 1

1.

Sit or lie down in a relaxed position. Test, for example, a cross-sitting or lying on your back with your legs hooked. When you recognize the exercise beeps, you can close the exercise eyes.

2.

Allow your breathing to flow at its own rhythm during the breathing cycles. Do not hyperventilate.

3.

Focus on relaxing and analyzing your feelings during breathing sessions.

4.

Don't try to make your own record. Make a max holding according to the goals of the day.

Never set your own breathing records when you're alone.

 

BREATH HOLDING LEVEL 1

 

HOW DID THE EXERCISE FEEL?

 

Were you able to do the workout comfortably, without feeling forced to yourself?

 

Always remember to stay at a comfortable level during the exercises and make only up to the level described in the exercise. It develops you the most.

 
DAY 3

CHALLENGE OF 4 DAYS

30-45 min - No equipment needed - Day 3/4

By regularly stretching your chest muscles, breath holding  feels more natural.

 

4. STRETCHING

10 min - No equipment needed - Day 3/4

OBJECTIVE

By stretching your upper body muscles and the diaphragm, you can increase mobility in your rib cage and allow the respiration system to function naturally.

 

The vagus nerve is responsible for regulating the rhythm of breathing, heart rate and blood pressure, for instance. Good mobility helps stimulate the function of the vagus nerve.

 

SUMMARY

Keep the stretches gentle but purposeful. Use your breathing to control the intensity of the stretch. Gentle stretches are the key to faster progress. Stretching should never cause pain.

EXERCISES

1. Neck stretch

2. Thoracic spine stretch

3. Side stretch

4. Chest stretch

5. Tricep stretch

6. Diaphragm stretch

 
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NECK STRETCH

1.

Sit or stand in a relaxed position. Relax, taking a few breaths as normal.

  

2.

Place your left hand on the crown of your head. Using your hand, gently tilt your head to the left.

 

3.

Move your right hand away from your body, reaching diagonally toward the floor. Feel the stretch in the side of your neck.

 

4.

Bring your right hand behind your back. With your left hand, grab your right hand. Using your left hand, pull the right hand to the left. Tilt your head to the left. Stretch. 

5.

Repeat on the other side. 

 

NECK STRETCH

 
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THORACIC SPINE STRETCH

1.

Sit or stand in a relaxed position. Relax, taking a few breaths as normal. 

  

2.

Bring your hands behind your head, fingers interlaced. 

 

3.

Inhale and gaze up toward the ceiling. Bring your elbows backward and push your chest forward. Keeping your shoulders relaxed feel the stretch in the entire rib cage.  

 

4.

Breathe out and push your elbows toward each other, rounding your back. Relax and let the weight of your arms stretch your neck and your upper back. 

  

5.

Repeat five times.

 

THORACIC SPINE STRETCH

 
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SIDE STRETCH

1.

Sit or stand in a relaxed position. 

  

2.

Interlace your fingers, turning your palms upward. Bring your arms above your head. 

  

3.

Reach up to the sky with your hands. Push your shoulders toward the ears. Bend the upper body sideways to the right.

  

4.

Breathe normally and relax. Feel the stretch along your right side.

  

5.

Repeat on the left side.

 

SIDE STRETCH

 
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CHEST STRETCH

1.

Sit on your heels or stand in a relaxed position.  

  

2.

Interlace your fingers behind your back. 

  

3.

Gaze up toward the ceiling, reaching back diagonally toward the floor with your hands. Push your chest forward. Keeping your shoulders relaxed feel the stretch in the entire rib cage.

  

4.

Breathe normally and relax.

 

CHEST STRETCH

 
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TRICEP STRETCH

1.

Sit or stand in a relaxed position. 

  

2.

Bring your right hand behind your head and reach down towards the floor.

 

3.

Grab your right elbow with your left hand, and gently push your hand downward. 

 

4.

Bring your head back to the upright position, gazing forward. Relax the shoulders.

 

5.

Repeat with your left hand.

 

TRICEP STRETCH

 
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DIAPHRAGM STRETCH 1

First, repeat the diaphragm stretch several times at your own pace. With each repetition, let out a little bit more air. The more empty your lungs are the more powerful the stretch will be.

  

Find out the level of stretch suitable for you. You should feel a gentle stretch in your diaphragm. Stretching should never cause pain. Make sure not to stretch too intensely!

  

1.

Stand with your legs apart. Bring your hands on your thighs, above the knees. 

 

2.

Gently blow air out of the lungs and lean forward against straightened arms. Don't empty your lungs too intensely or excessively. The more empty your lungs are the more powerful the stretch will be.

 

3.

Relax your abdomen and lift your diaphragm up. Your upper abdomen is, in a way, sucked up in your rib cage.  If you can’t feel the stretch you can assist by pulling the navel backward and upward, toward the spine. 

  

4.

Push the lower ribs out to each side. The rib cage broadens. Relax your abdominal muscles. Let your diaphragm stretch.

  

5.

Push your abdomen outward. Return to the upright position. Breathe in.

  

No need to worry if the stretch feels difficult. As the exercise program proceeds you will become aware of your diaphragm and learn how you stretch it. No need to worry if the stretch feels difficult!

 

DIAPHRAGM STRETCH 1

 

ALL EXERCISES OF THE DAY HAVE BEEN COMPLETED

The purpose of the pilot is to gather feedback and develop the training program to be pleasant.

 

In your feedback, give 1 to 5 stars how you felt after the workout. 

 

In the text field, you can tell which exercise produced  challenges or what you particularly liked or did not like.

 

Do you think the instructions were clear?

 

Do you think something was too much or  did you miss something?

 

If you have any questions about the pilot, please email your questions to  johanna@johannanordblad.com