FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) — Your overall health can improve by doing daily breath work.

Maria Mayes is a well-being coach in Fresno, who specializes in breath work — which is a stress-reduction technique that also brings physical benefits, including to the digestive system.

“Slowing down and taking a few slower than normal, deeper than normal breath cycles, prior to tasting your food, is going to take you from a mobilized sympathetic nervous system into a parasympathetic state — where you’re more calm and ready, and then your digestive system is able to work,” explained Mayes.

Certain breathing exercises can change your mood and state of mind.

“We can use the breath to energize and increase our heart rate, or calm and decrease our heart rate,” said Mayes.

Mayes led Action News reporter Amanda Aguilar through a coherent breath exercise, where she inhaled through the nose for five seconds, then exhaled through the nose for another five seconds.

“You can do breathing exercises, anytime, anywhere,” Mayes said. “I do them at my desk. I do them when I’m driving in the car.”

She also encourages adults to practice breath work with children, as many are now dealing with stress and anxiety following these past two years.

Mayes added that doing daily breathing exercises is an all-natural way to enhance your well-being.

A recent study also shows it could be more effective than making lifestyle changes, such as when working on weight loss.

Mayes is the founder of Take 5 Health, where she offers breath work videos.

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