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TAKE A DEEP BREATH

To improve your health and fitness, you’d change your diet and exercise regime – but you should also look at how you breathe. Our expert explains the benefits of ‘optimal breathing’
Photographs Getty

DR RICHARDRUSSELL is consultant respiratory physician at Lymington Hospital, Hampshire, and honorary senior lecturer at Imperial College, London

We do it without thinking, around 12-15 12-15times a minute, and it’s undoubtedly the most important of all bodily functions. Our bodies can go without food for several weeks and water for several days, but it would take only three minutes without drawing breath before the average human suffered brain damage, and around 10 minutes before they died. Notable exceptions are free divers, who train themselves to hold their breath for extended periods – the record is 22 minutes.

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About Healthy Magazine

We’re staying #Hotandhealthy in the August issue of healthy. This issue we’re talking about sex: from the results of our sex survey – and how to stay satisfied between the sheets – to our deliciously satisfying, sexy salads to sustain you while the sun shines. We explore how to put heart into mindfulness, brush up on how to really listen, and ask what’s the best age to live to? We have expert advice on how to look and feel your best, from ethical beauty buys through to help for allergies and strategies for backache. Plus, we examine whether splashing out on exercise gear equals a better workout?