Inspiring kids through breathing

This week I had a peak experience. 

A family I have worked with on Face Gym and breathing dropped by as they were passing through on their way around Australia. I always love meeting people I've only worked with on Skype or FaceTime as there's always a better and real connection.

I had offered the boys a surfing lesson and they were very keen to jump into it.

I love the word INSPIRATION - when we breathe, we INSPIRE and we expire. A question I often wonder about is; if our breathing isn't functioning well, do we have full inspiration? Do we breathe slowly and comfortably into our diaphragm and lower ribs? Or do we have "panic breathing" into the neck, upper chest and shoulders?

I actually believe (and no sciencey types, there's no papers!!) that the better our breathing the better our inspiration towards life, and now I use the word inspiration in the sense of motivation and creative spark. I have seen this in my own life, now my breathing is so much better, my passion, power and purpose has come shining through and is in a far greater level of flow. 

I believe anyone can have this, and everyone is entitled to.

One thing for certain, when I saw this little guy pictured above (and posted with parent's permission of course) standing up on his first go of trying, then riding the wave into the shore, I was more inspired than I've been in a while. 

Children's enthusiasm is contagious and I caught his :) 

Inspiring eh? 


Why do some kids hate exercise?


Do you know a kid that loathes exercise?

Maybe it's your own child? This can be a source of frustration, particularly if you are into training or sport yourself. 

I remember myself as a kid, trying hard to compete but I just didn't have the power in the tank I knew I was capable of and now I know why...

The actual respiratory physiology of exercise is surprisingly, poorly understood (1). What we do know is that even the thought or preparation for exercise actually makes us breathe faster! Then, as we start to exercise, BOOM, our breathing rate rises rapidly. 

So what does this have to do with kids who don't like to exercise?

Well, most often you'll find that these kids don't breathe well. During the day sometimes and especially during the night.

This means that when they come to that initial rise in breathing rate before and during the start of exercise, they've come from a base level of breathing that is probably already a little fast then required. They also more than likely are overusing using the neck and shoulder muscles for breathing at rest as opposed to the diaphragm.

This pattern of breathing is intended for exercise, not for rest so it's a bit like having a bucket that is 3/4 full of water! There's not much room left for the over-flow and kids get puffed out and uncomfortable too quickly, often developing an aversion to exercise.  

There are other biochemical factors that play into this as well which are beyond this post. However, just from this information alone we can see the power and potential of helping children to breathe well, during the day and ideally carrying over into the nighttime too.

Breathing well will have a very positive impact on their ability to adapt and respond to exercise and ultimately influence their enjoyment of it! 

This realisation and training of breathing is what finally got me to reach my athletic potential...but I was in my early 30's! This is also the reason why I developed Happy Kids Klinic and our online breathing program, so kids don't have to suffer or become adverse to exercise and sport. 

You can check out the online program here




(1) West, B 2012, Respiratory Physiology, the Essentials Lippincott, Williams and Wilkins 

You're Late!

Child asleep in class.jpg

I recently did my first "Facebook Live" video:

Talking about how always seemed to be behind the eight ball as a kid; late, unprepared, wrong clothes or uniform, lost my money etc etc 

Many people used to take that as laziness or lack of preparation, all well and good but I liken it to looking at the world through the bottom of a coke bottle... you can see it but it doesn't seem to make complete sense.

Now as an adult I'm passionate and committed to helping kids who suffer from breathing problems while they're asleep and awake. In health science breathing problems like snoring, breath holding and restless sleep can be termed "Sleep Disordered Breathing" (SDB) and it's been shown that this can effect cognitive function, growth and executive function, or loosely; how the brain develops and grows and the influence on the ability of a child to coordinate their thinking and logic through out the days, weeks, months and years.

You can read more about breathing and how it relates to many symptoms in kids here

So, if your child seems to struggle with organisation, planning and general apathy, consider that SDB and their breathing in general may be playing in as a factor and I recommend getting them checked out ASAP. You never know how much of their own hidden ability might be lying under the veil of breathing and sleep problems!


Breathing - Don’t I Just Do It?

Breathing - Don’t I Just Do It?

I once got an email from a client who was referred by a dentist that went something like:

“I don’t see any point as to why I should pay you to teach my daughter to breathe when she     does that all day everyday anyway!”

Fair enough, that program didn’t go ahead.

She had her point though, because on the surface it’s a logical position to assume, especially for kids right?