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From Toes to Head:
The Many Reasons To
Stand Up and Move

The original booklet was a compilation of articles written for a “Senior’s Newsletter” at the JCC from 2009 to 2017. It was put together as a fund-raiser. The new book was created in response to many requests for another like the first.

Look for some articles from the first book on this page.


Take a deep breath and read this one...

Underwater swimming is the only time you should hold your breath when exercising!


We need a constant supply of oxygen to keep all body cells functioning and we must rid our body of carbon dioxide. This gas exchange happens in the 300-500 million thin walled alveoli of the lungs. The surface area available for exchange is about the size of a tennis court but may not be fully used unless we exercise regularly and breathe fully.


About 1500 miles of airways lead to the alveoli. When we breathe out we cannot totally empty the lungs of air or the surfaces would stick together like a wet plastic bag; thus, lungs are the only body organ which will float.

At rest we breathe about 14-20 times/minute and lose around ½ litre of water daily doing so. During exercise breathing rate can rise to 60 times/minute, increasing water loss. Breathing speed is a good way to judge exercise intensity; the faster the breathing the faster the heart is beating (in healthy individuals).

Breathing is regulated both consciously and unconsciously. We need breath control for speech and can make use of it in relaxation techniques but if the brain detects carbon dioxide levels rising we cannot over-ride the need to breathe in.

Many people do not learn how to breathe well or fully. Age, loss of elasticity, poor posture and weight gain can all contribute to compromised breathing. Learning to breathe properly can benefit anyone at any age. One stress reduction technique is to lie quietly and pay attention to breathing fully. With one hand on the tummy and one hand on the chest a full breath should allow the tummy to expand rather than the chest to lift. It can take some people a while to learn, so stick with it.