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05/06/2014 10:05 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

4 Amazing Things You Had No Idea You Could Do With Your Breath

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It's long been considered one of the greatest tools for relaxation, but how you inhale and exhale matters even more than you might think.

By Leslie Goldman

The average person breathes in and out up to 23,040 times per day, but most of us do so inefficiently, taking short, shallow chest breaths while subconsciously contracting our abs, says Jane Pernotto Ehrman, a behavioral health specialist at the Cleveland Clinic Center for Lifestyle Medicine. Even though we're all born breathing from our bellies, by the time we hit adolescence, stress has crept in, and a natural response to stress—tightening up—restricts our breathing. But you can teach yourself how to breathe easier and reap serious physiological benefits in the process.

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Breathing Exercises

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BEFORE YOU GO

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Carla Ardito's Breathing GPS Guide
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