The 'Human Factors' in Deep Slow Easy Breathing Exercise
The Fusion of Breathing and Exercise.
The DeepSlowEasy exercises integrate breathing directly into the basic method of each stretching or strength exercise. The movement is coordinated with your breathing. This structured and scientific fusion of breathing and movement is extraordinary in the world of exercise. You do not hold a dynamic stretch or perform a strength exercise for a certain number of 'counts' or 'seconds' as do Iyengar, Pilates, Bikram, and countless other approaches. In DeepSlowEasy breathing exercise, you use your own breathing to regulate duration and intensity! A very simple approach to exercise and health. Here's why this revolutionary approach is so important....
By using breathing as the mechanism to control time in the movement, you focus on how your body is reacting to balance, stretch, inertia, weight distribution, and all the other phenomenon of moving. This method eliminates the cognitive aspect of counting seconds and the passage of time. It allows you to focus more on your body and less on your mind.
The Science of DeepSlowEasy Breathing
|Most DeepSlowEasy movements are performed for 2, 4, or 6 deep slow breaths. By lengthening the stretching time of the exercise from 2 to 4 to 6 deep slow breaths, you transcend the boundry between an 'easy' and 'developmental' stretch. A developmental stretch is better since you overcome the initial muscle tension and resistence. The figure below shows the transition stages.
The transition between an easy and developmental stretch or movement occurs at about 20-30 seconds. The problem was to calculate using the scientific (experimental) method how many deep slow breaths were 'normal' in a 20-30 second time interval. This required a little 'reverse engineering.'
A non-parametric experiment was performed (counterbalanced for age and sex) to establish the 'optimum' number of deep slow breaths. Twenty people were asked to breath deep and slow at their own pace for 20 -30 seconds. The number of full, complete breaths was counted until 25 - 30 seconds was attained. The results showed that 4 to 6 deep slow breaths take approximately 20-30 seconds. This is the approximate time period it takes to move from a static easy stretch to a developmental stretch.
These exercises are very conservative about starting levels of personal fitness. Refer to the Advice poster that identifies many of the things you must consider before doing any type of exercise. Each cardiovascular exercise, like Walking, provides exercise guidance according to your resting heart rate, age, activity level or lifestyle, and ambient humidity level and temperature.
The Direct Benefits
Deep slow breathing during the stretch ensures lung aeration, flushing out the CO2 and bringing in fresh air. Deep slow breathing ensures lung aeration, induces aeration, and relaxation. This mechanism promotes greater stretching capability and vital lung capacity. The result is lower blood pressure in the absence of the Valsalva effect. The Valsalva effect is a closing of the glottis accompanied by increased intrathoracic pressure. This happens when you hold your breath. You do not want this to happen during normal 'aerobic' exercising.
Here's another benefit. Breathing during stretching contracts muscles that squeeze blood past one-way valves in blood vessels going back to the heart. Blood is pumped to the lungs where it receives oxygen from rhythmic breathing. This improves blood flow and muscle elasticity.
So there are a lot of benefits to this method of breathing exercise.
How Strength and Endurance Increases.
Muscle strength and endurance are increased by varying the number of repetitions of exercises. Moderately high level of repetitions are achieved in conditioning phase movements in this program. They include the Curlup, Pressup, Kick and Arch, Olympic Situp, and Rotations.
A range of repetitions is provided with each exercise. You select the most comfortable yet challenging level. Users are encouraged to start off at a low level and gradually progress to a more strenuous level. Muscle endurance is developed by utilizing the 'progression technique', starting at a safe level of repetition and resistence and slowly increasing intensity. This approach to physical fitness enhances the 'training effect.' The body becomes accustomed to stress slowly without strain. And users are less likely to fail and quit the program.
Muscle endurance is improved by decreasing the rest interval between cardiovascular and skeletal muscle exercises. Improvement in muscle elasticity, strength, and endurance takes place systematically as a function of changing certain variables like lengthening stretching time, changing load or resistence, and increasing number of repetitions. These variables directly affect 'progressive overload', the means of attaining increased strength and endurance. Progression, a prerequiste of circuit training, occurs naturally since each user can increment several variables at his own rate and level.
Origin of DeepSlowEasy Movements.
The DeepSlowEasy movements are modeled after traditional circuit training methods. It was originally called the Every Body Program when it was first released in 1979. The Every Body Program was one of many circuit training programs popular in the early 1980s. But this program was the only one that you could do without a lot of support structures. It was designed in the late 1970s to be versatile and flexible for all time; unrestricted by technology, weather, or the immediate physical environment. You could do the movements in hotel rooms, your living room, or outdoors in parks and recreation areas.
It was developed as an alternative to ballistic exercise programs. It combines slow, dynamic stretching with muscle strengthening exercises. These combine to develop strength, balance, endurance, and flexibility slowly at each user's entry level and pace. Rotational, lateral extension, and forward-backward stretching exercises are sequenced to bilaterally develop muscles for better fitness and posture. These exercises counteract the debilitating effects of sitting in chairs, typing at a keyboard, and staring at computer displays.
|The first EveryBody Fitness Program. Four Seasons Resort. Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Practicing Deep Slow Breathing.
Since deep slow breathing provides the underlying mechanism for performing many of these exercises, it is extremely important to learn early. You must practice it when you're waiting at a stop light in your car, before you go to sleep, when you feel stressed, just about any time. It's done in four simple movements as shown in the illustration.
Deep Slow Breathing, referred to as 'complete breathing' or 'master breathing', is really only 1 of 10 different types of breathing. It's great for stimulating internal visceral organs and pushing out the stale, stagnant air that collects in our lower lungs.
If you are asthmatic, you might try pursing your lips slightly to increase the Venturi effect and force your lungs to exert a little extra effort on inhalation. This will strengthen your lungs more than mouth breathing.
The Human Factors Elements of DeepSlowEasy
Human factors engineering is the cornerstone for the display and integration of DeepSlowEasy exercising information, web site, and graphics. For instance, the posters are designed for left-to-right easy reading. Each poster has 3 graphics to depict the movement. Graphics reduces training time and errors. You are better able to understand the movement. Each movement is broken down into 3 movements. This is the 'part task' embodiment of robust training and learning method. Each step is numbered. The sequential numbering eliminates ambiguity.
A wide range of performance levels is provided to challenge the novice and experienced user. Users can increase either the 'holding time' for stretching exercises or the number of repetitions for calisthenic exercises.
All precautions are taken to safely guide the user through the cardiovascular training phases. Ambient temperature, humidity, resting heart rate, age, and lifestyle data are presented to prevent over exertion. "No pain without gain" is the stupidest phase on the planet!
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