Benefits Of Deep Breathing Exercises For A Healthy Heart

Written by GHBY Team on Tue, 01 August 2023 — Fact checked by Dr. Pramod Mane

Key Highlights

  • Shallow breathing can lead to health issues such as shortness of breath, anxiety, and increased stress on the cardiovascular system.
  • Deep breathing exercises can increase lung capacity, improve respiratory and cardiovascular function, and reduce stress and anxiety.
  • Deep breathing involves breathing slowly and deeply, using the diaphragm to draw air into the lungs, and can activate the parasympathetic nervous system, leading to relaxation and calmness.
  • Regular practice of deep breathing exercises can positively impact physical and mental well-being and contribute to maintaining a healthy heart.

Proper breathing is essential for maintaining the health and function of our lungs, heart, and other vital organs. However, many of us tend to breathe shallowly, using only a fraction of our lung capacity. This can lead to various health issues such as shortness of breath, anxiety, and stress. Shallow breathing can also increase heart rate and blood pressure, putting undue stress on our cardiovascular system.

On the other hand, deep breathing exercises can help increase lung capacity and improve the functioning of our respiratory and cardiovascular systems. They can also help reduce stress and anxiety, leading to a calmer and more relaxed state of mind.

Deep breathing exercises involve breathing slowly and deeply, using your diaphragm to draw air into your lungs. This type of breathing can help activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for relaxing the body and calming the mind.

Overall, practicing deep breathing exercises regularly can have a positive impact on our physical and mental well-being, and can contribute to maintaining a healthy heart. In this blog, we will explore the benefits of deep breathing exercises for your heart, as well as provide some simple techniques to incorporate into your daily routine. Join us as we take a deep breath and dive into the world of deep breathing exercises for a healthy heart.

Can breathing help your heart?

The respiratory and cardiovascular systems are linked by the lungs, which are located between the right and left sides of the circulation. As a result, breathing has a direct impact on the cardiovascular system.

The separation of circulation and respiration into different ‘systems’, disciplines of study, and clinical medicine specialties is an interesting question, but the shortness of breath is one of the main symptoms of congestive heart failure.

Similarly, patients with structural lung disease commonly develop pulmonary hypertension as well as subsequent right-sided heart failure. Sounds serious right?

So how does deep, mindful breathing come into the picture? And how can something so simple be helpful?

Breathing can have a therapeutic effect. This includes simple advice like "take a deep breath," religious traditions, and studies showing that organized deep breathing programs can reduce anxiety, help manage pain, improve blood glucose, and lower blood pressure.

The need for breathing exercises

You breathe in and out, with your diaphragm doing approximately 80% of the task of filling your lungs with a combination of oxygen and other gases and then expelling the waste gas.

Our lungs, like the door, are springy. With asthma, and particularly with COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), our lungs lose their springiness over time. They do not return to their initial level, and the air becomes trapped in our lungs.

Stale air accumulates over time, leaving less space for the diaphragm to contract or rather bring in fresh oxygen. When the diaphragm is not working properly, the body begins to rely on other musculature in the neck, back, and chest to breathe.

This results in lower oxygen levels and a reduced capacity for physical activity. Regular breathing exercises can help rid the lung tissue of gathered stale air, increase oxygen levels, and get the diaphragm back to its job of assisting you in breathing.

But how does this help your heart?

Not just breathing in general but certain breathing exercises and techniques have proven beneficial for your blood pumper.

Breathing Exercises For A Healthy Heart

  • Deep breathing helps in slowing down the pulse rate.
  • Slow breathing is beneficial in reducing blood pressure.
  • It can reduce the symptoms of anxiety and depression, both of which, in extension, have been known to be tough on the heart.
  • Slow breathing at a rate of 6 breaths/minute has been shown to increase blood flow.

Breathing techniques to boost your heart health

Yoga is a mind-body activity in which you move through a set of body poses as well as breathing exercises to improve your strength, balance, flexibility, and relaxation.

Several distinct formats or practices, including hatha, ashtanga, anusara, and many others, highlight various factors such as strength training and mindfulness meditation.

1. Yoga: The heart of living

Yoga, especially Pranayama, which takes only a few minutes to practice, reduces heart rate and resting blood pressure.

Regular pranayama practice results in a permanent reduction in blood pressure and heart rate, reducing both the workload and the wear and tear on the heart. But what is Pranayama exactly?

The word Pranayama is made up of two parts: ‘prana’ and ‘ayama’. Prana means ‘vital energy’ or ‘life force’, yama means ‘extension’ or ‘expansion’. Thus, Pranayama means ‘expansion of the dimension of ‘prana’.

  • Close the left nostril with your finger, slowly inhale through the right nostril for 10 seconds.
  • Then close the right nostril but also exhale through the left nostril for 10 seconds. This is performed by interchanging which nostril inhales and exhales.

2. Power breathing

Power breathing exercises can be done at your desk, on the subway, on your drive to work, or at home on the couch, and some can be used in conjunction with working out or participating in your favorite sport.

These set of breathing exercises are performed to cleanse the sinuses, energize, improve endurance, as well as the nervous as well as digestive systems’ efficiency, provide pain relief, improve concentration, etc.

As your body relaxes, your blood vessels dilate, improving circulation and lowering blood pressure.

1. Belly breathing or diaphragmic breathing

  • Inhaling through your nose, place your hands on your stomach to be aware of your stomach rising and falling.
  • Breathe out via your mouth for at least double the amount of time as you inhale.
  • Relax your shoulders and neck as you train up your diaphragm to assist in filling and emptying your lungs.
  • This type of breathing enhances blood circulation and slows down the rate of respiration. 

2. Yoga nidra meditation

Breathing Exercises For A Healthy Heart

  • Yoga nidra is similar to meditation but still different on a few levels.
  • The goal of yoga nidra is to travel into a deep state of conscious sleep, which is a greater state of resting with awareness.
  • This state entails transitioning from consciousness to dreaming, and then from dreaming to not-dreaming while still awake — passing from the unconscious to the conscious.

Yoga nidra is a highly effective practice for lowering blood pressure and the cardiovascular workload of those with heart disease. A study revealed that yoga nidra has the power to reverse severe heart diseases such as ischemic heart disease (IHD).

2. Kapalabhati - fast breathing

  • It consists of a forceful, strong, exhalation followed by passive inhalation.
  • Previous research found that changes in respiratory pattern led to a reduction in cardiac vagal tone (an indicator of emotional stress, fatigue, etc.) during Kapalabhati.

When to practice these breathing exercises?

The early morning hours are exceptional. The air is fresh and the climate is lovely. Even if you are a city person, you can sense something pure about this time of day.

Begin your day right by creating a regimen that involves some breathing exercises, or yogic breathing, to help enliven your spirit.


In conclusion, incorporating deep breathing exercises into your daily routine can have numerous benefits for your heart health. By practicing these techniques regularly, you can improve your lung capacity, reduce stress and anxiety, lower inflammation, and enhance blood flow, all of which can promote a healthier heart.

Remember to start slowly and not attempt deep breathing exercises when you are out of breath. Aim to practice these exercises for 5-10 minutes each day, gradually increasing the duration as you become more comfortable.

Don’t give up if your first session feels challenging, as with practice, you’ll find that deep breathing comes more naturally. By prioritizing your breathing and taking the time to care for your heart, you can promote better overall health and well-being.



GHBY Team comprises content writers and content editors who specialise in health and lifestyle writing. Always on the lookout for new trends in the health and lifestyle space, Team GHBY follows an audience-first approach. This ensures they bring the latest in the health space to your fingertips, so you can stay ahead in your wellness game. 

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Our team of experts frequently monitors developments in the health and wellness field, and we update our articles when new information becomes available.

Current Version

Aug, 01 2023

Written By


Fact checked By

Dr. Pramod Mane