DAY 4

THE CHALLENGE OF 4 DAYS

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

Getting used to increased carbon dioxide partial pressure will enhance endurance performance and improve oxygen uptake.

1. WARM-UP

10 min - No equipment needed - Day 4/4

OBJECTIVE

Day 4 warm-up focus on strengthening the respirator muscles and on getting used to increased carbon dioxide levels.

 

SUMMARY

Your body will gradually get used to increased carbon dioxide levels. The sensation caused by the urge to breathe will vary as you continue to follow the exercise programme. This means that there is never a need to 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

 

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 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.

 

30-sec ONE-BREATH BREATH-HOLD

 

WARM-UP COMPLETED

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

 

What matters is to keep doing the exercises on a regular basis each day.

 
DAY 4

THE CHALLENGE OF 4 DAYS

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

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

 

2. SKILLS

3 min - No equipment needed - Day 4/4

OBJECTIVE

You will learn about the diving response.

You will learn about the importance and the technique of recovery breathing.

 

SUMMARY

When you hold your breath for a prolonged period of time, the carbon dioxide levels increase and the diving response is activated in your body. Thanks to the diving response, the body can save oxygen for example by lowering the heart rate and decreasing peripheral blood flow.

 

As a result, blood oxygen levels will drop. Emptying all air out of the lungs after breath holding may cause a sudden drop in blood pressure.

 

In order to maintain blood pressure levels and to enable a rapid supply of oxygen-rich blood supply to the brain, it is good to make a habit of recovery breathing after performing a breath-hold for a period of more than 2 minutes.

EXERCISES

1. Recovery breathing

 

RECOVERY BREATHING

1.

Fill your lungs with air and do a 30 sec breath holding exercise. During the breath hold, the pressure in the rib cage is increased.

 

2.

To end the breath hold, let air flow out unforcibly. Don't empty your lungs entirely. Allow the lungs to remain half full. Fill your lungs again with a quick breath. Hold for a few seconds while using the muscles between the ribs to squeeze the rib cage. This will create pressure in the rib cage.

 

3.

Repeat the quick breath 3 times.  The pressure in the rib cage raises your blood pressure and helps new oxygen-rich blood to travel from the lungs to the brain as quickly as possible. 

4.

Repeat the exercise four times.

Take a restorative breath after performing a breath-hold for a period of more than 2 minutes.

 

RECOVERY BREATHING

 
 
DAY 4

THE CHALLENGE OF 4 DAYS

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

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

 

3. BREATH HOLDING

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

OBJECTIVE 4

We will learn to move on to level 2 breath holding.

SUMMARY 4

The sensations caused by breath holding will gradually change. The sensations vary from individual to individual. They do, however, follow a certain pattern and intensify as the duration of breath-hold increases. With continued exercise, we will get used to increased carbon dioxide levels and notice gradually that we are adapting to the sensations. They don't feel as unpleasant anymore and don’t trigger unwanted emotions.

 

Based on our sensations, we can build our own measuring system for defining the phase of the breath-hold at any given time.

 

Learning to identify the very first sensation is crucial. Extending the duration of breath-hold is based on the fact that we learn to identify the signs of our own bodies.

 

INSTRUCTION 4

When you learn to recognise the sound signal used in the programme, try doing the exercise with your eyes closed.

 

You can now slightly prolong breath-hold duration and get ready for moving on to level 2. Feel how the sensations change. After the very first sensation it is possible that you experience a feeling of tightness in the rib cage, sensations in the area of the diaphragm or a need to swallow, for example.

When you feel the urge to breathe for the first time, notice the physical location of this sensation and describe it in your mind. Then, feel if your shoulders, the back of your neck or the abdominal area are tense. Then, begin breathing.

Don’t force yourself. As you continue to follow the exercise programme, the duration of breath holds will be increased.

EXERCISES

Level 1

 

1.

Breathe for 30 sec.

Hold for 15 sec.

 

2.

Breathe for 30 sec.

Hold for 30 sec.

 

3.

Breathe for 45 sec.

Hold for 45 sec.

 

4.

Breathe for 2 min.

Hold until the first sensation.Describe in your mind the sensation.Feel if you are relaxed.

 

5.

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 4

THE CHALLENGE OF 4 DAYS

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

By regularly stretching your chest muscles, breathing feels more natural.

 

4. STRETCHING

10 min - No equipment needed - Day 4/4

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 stretch1

 
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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

 

CONGRATULATIONS!

YOU HAVE COMPLETED THE CHALLENGE OF 4 DAYS

The online pilot has come to an end. If you want to move on to the next exercise programme, you will find it in the mobile app.

 

In your feedback, give 1 to 5 stars how you felt after 4 days training program..

 

In the text field, you can tell how you developed during the program.  What was your max breath hold time on the first and last day.

 

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