Health Breathing Lessons

Lanzarote has some of the cleanest air you’ll ever enjoy. Isn’t it time you made the most of it?
We breathe, on average, around 20,000 times a day, inhaling 11,000 litres of air of which 550 litres are oxygen. That’s a lot of air, and if that air isn’t clean, it can mean a lot of impurities, too.

Luckily, here on Lanzarote, we’re almost constantly combed by an Atlantic wind system that constantly replaces the clean, fresh air we breathe. Sometimes, calimas from the south-east can bring heavy concentrations of airborne particles, but as a general rule our island is a great place to breathe, a blessed relief for hay fever sufferers and almost entirely free of the fumes and toxic emissions that are literally killing city dwellers throughout Europe.

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The warm climate also offers us the chance to make the most of this fresh, clean air every single day. You don’t have to wrap up warm or even leave the house to enjoy Lanzarote’s fresh air – just fling the windows open.

How to breathe
Breathing is the first and last thing we’ll do, but if you want to live a healthy, fit and peaceful life, it’s also one of those things that we can always learn to do better.

One of the basic aims of exercise is to increase our breathing rate, pushing our respiratory and cardiovascular systems harder in order to ensure they’re working at peak efficiency. That’s why all doctors recommend that we get out of breath at least once a day. Keeping this system in good condition will extend your life and improve its quality.

All athletes – runners, swimmers and cyclists – have an intimate and conscious relationship with their own breathing, and every one who takes fitness seriously has addressed this aspect. It’s about finding your rhythm, moving to maximise efficiency and learning your limits. Any professional will address breathing issues when training beginners, and learning to breathe better could change your life.
Mental tranquility

But breathing isn’t just important for vigorous activity. It can also centre our focus, improve concentration and allow us to control our mental state. Ask a professional golfer taking an important putt or an archer preparing to loose their arrow, and they will quickly tell you how vital breath control can be.

And, of course, breathing is the central focus of yoga and meditation; the magical, life-giving process that allows you to focus on your body as a magnificent, living machine, ebbing and flowing in rhythm with the world that surrounds it.

4-7-8 : Breathe…
4, 7 and 8 are the key numbers for one of the most basic breathing techniques for relaxation.
Simply breathe in through your nose for a count of four; hold that breath for a count of seven, then release it slowly from the mouth for a count of eight. Don’t think, just count.

The speed you count at is not important. It’s the ratio that does the job. Try it for four or five breaths at first, at least twice a day.
Once you’ve learned this easy technique, you have a tool at hand that will help you reduce stress and recharge your batteries.