“Improper breathing weakens and harms almost every major system in our body and makes us more susceptible to diseases of all kinds,” he says.
Check whether you’re breathing properly by laying one hand over your abdomen and one over your chest. Inhale deeply; and see how much your abdomen and chest move. Your abdomen should expand outward; if it moves inward, that is reverse breathing, and it is problematic. A healthy breath moves the diaphragm, the intercostal muscles around the ribs and, almost imperceptibly, the shoulders.
“It’s a two-cycle process,” he says. “In a full breath, your entire torso is moving.”
One beneficial breathing exercise to try is slowing your breath to around five to six times a minute, being mindful to breathe into your diaphragm.
“It puts the rhythm of the heart and brain in sync,” says Morningstar.