Question: What do you think of Oxycise and other exercise programs that focus on breathing more so than the exercise?
I feel strongly about breathing properly for fitness, for enhancing any physical activity and also for stress reduction. When I first started working out, I was concentrating so hard on keeping up with the others in the class, I made the big mistake of holding my breath. I asked the instructor why I was experiencing pains in my chest and lungs and, fortunately, she was astute enough to suggest that I start breathing deeply. I continually remind the students to breathe. Yes, we all breathe, but often not deeply enough.
I am delighted with the focus on breathing that is suggested in the more popular than ever before sessions of Yoga and Pilates. The idea is that when we are breathing in harmony with our movements, we are also paying attention in a deep way which not only prevents injury, but also is at the heart of what fitness is all about. Deep breathing is taking air in slowly all the way down into our abdomen, then breathing more air into our lungs until we are full of air, followed by letting that air out slowly through our nose or pursed lips. So many of us are in the habit of “shallow” breathing that results in “sticky lungs” – lungs that can’t give your muscles and brain the amount of air you need for a healthy lifestyle. Deep breathing helps you relax, think clearly and feel good.
Of course, I don’t feel that breathing is the only important part of exercise. It is definitely an important part of the whole. Today, breathing therapy belongs to both alternative and mainstream health. While hard science lags behind our intuitive understanding the subject, no one questions that better breathing makes for better health – and for more effective workouts. You see, the human body is designed to discharge 70 percent of its toxins through breathing. If your breathing is not operating at peak efficiency, you are not ridding yourself of toxins properly and other systems of your body must work overtime.
Even though it has been around forever, oxygen is one of the latest trends. There are “oxygen bars” across the country where people pay to inhale oxygen. There is the alternative therapy, Oxygen Therapy, which is defined as “any modality which introduces oxygen and related therapies as part of a health regimen. This can be anything from deep breathing exercises to autohemotherapy ozone.”
A doctor from the UK writes, “I have been treating people with oxygen for a number of years now. Pure oxygen is toxic and should not be inhaled over a length of time. The maximum dilution I use is 40% with air. In the UK we have a mask with a connector which dilutes the oxygen… When in hospital I treat my patients with up to four hours a day in two hour sessions, however I have found that in the case of wound healing, one hour per day has been successful.”
I don’t know about you, but I think I will stick with getting my oxygen with steady, deep breathing, drinking lots of water, and eating lots of oxygen-laden vegetables. And this leads me to the final topic of the question.
From what I know about Oxycise – and I only know what I have read about it, since I am not willing to shell out $35.00 for a program that sounds like it promotes what I feel is the common sense workout that I have been suggesting all along. The program sounds like a sensible, low impact, muscle and strength building routine coupled with a great deal of deep breathing.
The parts of the program that signal possible “red flags” are the claims of huge weight losses without drastically changing eating habits and after only 15 minutes a day of working out. Notice, though, if you see their advertisement or visit their website that the phrase, “Results not typical. Your experience will vary.”