Take a deep breath more often

In the hectic everyday life, many people do not have the time for a longer stay outdoors in the fresh air. This is enormously important for our physical and mental balance though and already a few targeted behavioral measures can work miracles.

Article from Fri, 08. December 2017

Fresh air, elixir for body and mind

  • Sitting for hours at desks, long car drives and the extensive stay in mainly closed rooms permanently lead to less concentration, fatigue, exhaustion and even to headaches. A lack of physical activity and oxygen also impairs our mental well-being. We feel uncomfortable, become dissatisfied under which our overall effectiveness suffers as a result. We have growing need for fresh air, natural light and movement
  • Under these circumstances, fresh air works like a spa treatment, when we open the windows widely for a few minutes and air the rooms. It is much better, in particular after extended mental effort, to take a short walk outside straight away and move a little, for example during lunch break, even in rough weather. The cooling, balancing and regenerating effect of fresh and clean air is felt quickly
  • A lack of movement is mainly caused by seated activity and not only leads to stiffness of the back, of muscles and joints but also to a shallow breathing which then nearly only involves the upper part of the chest. By moving in the fresh air, our body gingers up again. It automatically proceeds to the diaphragmatic or abdominal breathing which is our natural breathing we have known already as babies. Our organs and muscles as well as our brain are again supplied with sufficient amount of oxygen
  • Those who do not have enough time for a walk outside, are advised to open the window widely and stretch their bodies for three to five minutes. Additional mindful and deep in-and exhaling into the belly increases the effect of the stretching - the belly rises and falls, not only the chest or thorax. When performed correctly, deep breathing can be felt in the flanks, the lower and outer part of the back which still belongs to the abdominal area
  • Breathing techniques that are known for example from yoga, are easy to learn and can be performed almost everywhere, best naturally outside. Considered only by themselves, they already are a wonderful agent when you feel tired and exhausted but do not have the time for extensive recuperation. They revive and particularly reduce psychological tensions
  • Enough exercise in fresh air is especially important in winter, when the mucous membranes of the respiratory tract suffer from the mostly dry heating air in office and living spaces. In case the mucous membranes are dried and irritated, they can no longer properly fulfill their natural protective function against pathogens.
  • Common colds, that is to say, do not occur directly through cold temperatures as frequently thought, but through germs which are being passed on. The coldness simply weakens the immune system in case the body is not used to it so that it becomes more vulnerable, making the job easier for pathogens. Therefore, regular, expanded walks and outdoors sports are recommended, also and especially in winter to support the immune system, as well as specific humidifiers in case the room air at home or in the office is rather dry throughout the whole year
  • Selectively applied cold stimuli such as the short-term, cold shower (after the warm shower or a hot sauna bath) and also breathing under fresh, cold air, harden up our body and make it more resistant to infects. In doing so, you should be aware to mainly breathe through the nose at very cold temperatures
  • The nose filters, warms up and moistens the inhaled air and also reabsorbs a part of the fluid again during exhalation, throat and pharynx are protected. Slight physical activity in warm clothes is even quite useful in case of a pre-existing cold, provided that one does not feel too weak and has no fever. It stimulates the self-healing powers of the body and promotes recovery
  • Healthy, clean air in a natural environment is by no means self-evident. The pollution through smog and particulates has increased and in part lowers the air quality tremendously. This is frequently a major problem, especially in big cities and metropolitan areas with plenty of traffic and industrial facilities. But also interior spaces where it is smoked much, show anything but low quantities of pollutants and even contaminants, mainly fine dust and formaldehyde which is not only a hazard to the health of the smoker, but to the one of non-smokers as well
  • There are reasons why city dwellers in particular visit forest areas close to the city. The forest climate is cooler, moister and especially rich in oxygen. The differences in temperature ensure a constant air exchange so that pure air, better in quality, can reach residential areas; the huge stock of trees filters out dust, gases and radioactive material from the air. The forest serves as a place to relax and for leisure activities not only for city dwellers
  • Forest areas are experienced to be unspoilt nature by almost all people, providing not only plenty of fresh and clean air, but due to diverse natural sounds such as birds and water from brooks, also convey tranquility and relaxation for body and mind
  • Not only the air in forest areas is felt to be very pleasant and balancing. The environmental air in the mountains can physically even be healing. This is also true for the salty and humid sea air. Here, physicians are talking about the so-called bracing climate. It is good especially for people with respiratory problems, for asthmatics and allergy sufferers. The thin, dry air of the mountains, ideally with an increased solar radiation, should stimulate the defence mechanism of the body and also improve the condition in the case of other civilization diseases
  • At the sea, strong winds ensure that salts, iodine, magnesium and trace elements from the sea water reach the air so that in this climate as well, patients with respiratory diseases and allergy sufferers can experience a relief from their symptoms. For people with skin diseases such as neurodermatitis and psoriasis, the healing impact of the sea water on their skin is another, positive effect
  • When the sun comes out especially in the cold season, you should use as many minutes as possible for a stay outside. Whether in the mountains, in the lowlands or at the sea. Not only because of the dry and oftentimes also too warm heating air that can be a true mood killer, making us tired and also is not beneficial for the respiratory tract. Plenty of fresh air and sunlight induce highly diverse processes within the body. This includes the formation of vitamin D
  • Our body needs this important vitamin also and especially in the winter and it produces it primarily through the UV radiation of the sun. Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) is formed in our skin. Along with calcium, it is important for healthy teeth and strong, resilient bones. It also strengthens the immune and cardio-vascular system. Also the ‚mood hormone‘ serotonin which helps us to get into a good mood and also triggers feelings of happiness, is being produced in our brain under the influence of vitamin D3