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  • Writer's pictureDmitri Konash

Apps For Breathing Exercises

Updated: 3 days ago

How to choose the best breathing exercises app?


BreathNow is one of the best apps for breathing exercises

Follow along breathing exercises are quickly becoming a new popular trend among health enthusiasts. They are scientifically proven to reduce anxiety, stress, high blood pressure, improve work focus and night sleep.


Why breathing exercises have become so popular?


Breathing exercises developed over the centuries along the development of Asian mindfulness practices and yoga. The modern science has proven that they provide immense health benefits. Here is a very simplified explanation of how they work. Modulating the ratio of inhale and exhale length, as well as the length of hold periods between inhale and exhale cycles regulates the balance between your sympathetic nervous system, responsible for fight or flight behaviour, and parasympathetic nervous system responsible for rest and digest.


For example, probably the most famous breathing exercise for calming is boxed breathing. It emphasises slower breathing and longer hold periods. You breathe in for 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds, exhale for 4 seconds and hold again for 4 seconds. This exercise activates parasympathetic nervous system and calms us. It has been proven so effective that they teach it to the US Marines.


On the opposite, emphasising longer inhales and short and energetic exhales activates sympathetic nervous system. A breathing exercise which consists of 4 second inhales and 2 second energetic exhales with very little pause between them will provide an excellent start for your day full of energy.


Best mobile apps for breathing exercises.


There are many mobile apps which facilitate guided breathing exercises. Most of the relaxation apps these days include a breathing guidance of some sort, i.e. a circle which expands on inhale and contracts on exhale. A recent scientific paper suggests that breathing apps which produce more visualisation produce better results both subjectively and objectively [1].


There is a good reason why the market leaders and like Calm and HeadSpace include breathing exercises in the popular apps: they definitely work. App users experience immediate relief just after few minutes of following the guided breathing exercises.


Can you objectively measure health impact of apps for breathing exercises?


Definitely! Several app creators use for this a scientific method called Heart Rate Variability (HRV). It helps to understand the balance between a sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, and derive a change in stress level. HRV is extracted from heart rate measurements. Heart rate is measured with the help of a phone camera in this app.


Here is where our BreathNow app leads the pack. It has a very simple design and its breathing circle is very easy to follow. However, BreathNow app also allows to take a measurement of your heart rate and stress (HRV) before and after a breathing exercise. It helps to understand if a user focused sufficiently on the exercise or need to repeat it for more effect.


Who will benefit most from BreathNow app for breathing exercises?


As someone who has suffered from anxiety and high blood pressure I found breathing exercises helped me a lot to relax, lower anxiety and high blood pressure. I managed to fix these health conditions naturally, without medications. I wanted to share my experience with others and that's how BreathNow app was born.


BreathNow blood pressure app is the best breathing app for health

If you experience anxiety, high blood pressure or stress give it a try and let us know how it helped you. Tens of thousands have benefited from using the app and we hope that it will help you as well.


UPDATE May 2023. BreathNow includes now a Biofeedback breathing exercise. It measure your HRV as you do this calming exercise and provides an immediate feedback on how your body and remind react to the calming experience.


REFERENCES

1. Evaluating mobile apps for breathing training: The effectiveness of visualisation

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