I guess if there’s any one thing you figure you “know how to do” already, it would be breathing. You’ve been doing it successfully for a while now, yes?
But we adults have often gotten away from breathing the way a child or an animal does: using our diaphragm and the lower part of our torso (“belly”) to initiate inhales and exhales. Why? Tight pants, self-consciousness, spending a lot of time sitting…there are multiple reasons.
Belly breathing noticeably helps during endurance workouts (consciously try it the next time you hit that tough hill on foot or your bike). It’s also great during any “mindful breathing” activity like meditation or straight-up breathing exercises aimed at stress reduction or sleep inducement.
Here’s a useful article with a bit more of the Why, and a clear illustration of the How.
Not ready to invest time reading about breathing (need more convincing that breathing is something to actively focus on?). Then please start by reading this on the amazing array of benefits from deep, controlled breathing.
You know, this might seem like a small thing, man. But as we get older…past 40, 50, 60…focusing on these little things can make a big difference in our quest for long-term vitality. So happy breathing, brother.
“At night on them banks I’d lie awake. And pull her close just to feel each breath she’d take.” (Bruce Springsteen, The River – click to listen). This is the iconic live version of Bruce at the No Nukes concert back when.