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Breathing Exercises for Seniors

breathing exercise habits meditation mindfulness motivation Jun 22, 2021

You’ve heard Annie say it two weeks in a row now and I am here to tell you, yet again:

Literally : if you don’t move it… you lose it! So what is the best way to stay young? Move your body in all the ways! >>To learn the truth about aging and mobility, head here <<

Not to get too dark too quickly... but breathing is the very first and last basic motor program that our bodies practice. Without the breath, you simply are not. We learn as toddlers to stand and control posture with the diaphragm and in turn our posture supports our functional breathing patterns. That is until it doesn’t. 

Dysfunctional breathing can be the root of chronic back, neck and chest pain, cold extremities, fatigue and poor mobility, often times the result of erratic breathing rhythms, mouth breathing, snoring, over-breathing, upper-chest and poor breathing mechanics under load and stress.

So...let me ask you this. How often have you done the work to move your body, move your back, stretch, walk and eat right and still just felt as if you were treading water instead of gliding to the shore? 

Remember what Annie said? 

What we consider aging (getting stiff and slow) - to be blunt - is often more about a lack of novelty and stimulus, than about deterioration. We get into our patterns of movement, we settle into our behavior patterns and our brains stop creating new pathways and comfort with things “out of the ordinary.”

And what is breathing? A pattern of movement!

As we age, we often don’t think about our breathing until something goes wrong. At that point, it takes time, patience and a lot of practice to break the poor breathing habits already in place. That is precisely why it is so important to create healthy, functional patterns of breathing to assist in all the other moving you’re doing! (Hey look I rhymed…. )

I teach a lot of techniques, but these easy (yet effective!) exercises are the first three drills I teach to all of my clients.

Breathe your way to better movement with these easy exercises:

1. Three Part breathing: Feel it to move it! 

  • Place your hands on your belly and breathe into your hands
  • Now, place your hands on your lower two ribs and breathe first into the belly then encourage the breath to move into your ribs
  • Next, place your hands under your armpits or on your clavicles and move the breath into your belly, then your ribs, then like a crescendo into your armpits
  • Three Part Breathing is a wave of movement, low to high on the inhale and high to low on the exhale

2. Many Small Breath Holds: To calm the mind

  • Sit tall and allow your body to relax. Breathe in and out through the nose
  • Exhale, then pinch your nose and hold your breath for up to 5 seconds
  • Let go of your nose and breathe normally for 10 seconds
  • Repeat 10-20 repetitions

3. Breathe Light: To fall asleep

I love this practice before bed. It’s a bit like a meditation of sorts. The goal for this practice is to breathe light, slow and low to create a sense of air hunger to calm the mind and bring a conscious awareness to the breath. You can find short guided audio of this practice on my Instagram IG TV section here

Annie said it best, we blame the fact that we are aging for aches, pains and lack of mobility, wherein the real culprit may just be a lack of gosh darn movement. But remember that breathing is at the core of every single thing that we do. We are with our breath every moment and every movement of the day, and for every breath you take, you’re able to create an entirely different internal environment. So keep it nasal, keep it low, keep it 3-Dimensional and keep it slow. 

Until next month,
Amanda Bauer
Forest Coaching Breath and Running Expert
Follow her @amanda_willrun4cookies


>>Are you ready to breathe better to move better?Schedule a free consultation with our breathwork expert Amanda here



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