Monday, May 16, 2011

Free for 24 Hours Only: Breathing Zone

I'm putting this up right away though I have not tested the app yet, hoping you can download it before the 24 hours are up (as of this post, it's been about 10 hours already since this app's promo was announced).

Though it retails on the App Store at $2.99, it is free for 24 hours since its posting (May 16, around 4AM Manila Time).

This is the app's description on its website:

Breathing Zone is an easy way to relax by following a simple guided breathing exercise. In just 5 minutes you can start to enjoy the health benefits of slower therapeutic breathing.
This scientifically designed breathing exercise will slow your heart rate, and over time can help lower High Blood Pressure.

  • Easy to follow voice instructions.
  • Beautiful breathing guide animation.
  • Your choice of three guide sounds.
  • Timed sessions from 5 to 30 minutes in length.
  • Custom start and target breathing rates.
  • Breathing Analyzer measures your breathing rate.
  • Weekly Target track your therapeutic breathing minutes.
Slower breathing has been known to reduce stress. When we stress out we tend to breathe shallower and faster. Over time, slow breathing also helps reduce blood pressure.

Harvard Medical School's newsletter article, How to put your smartphone "on call" says this about the app: "When you find yourself under stress, Breathing Zone.. can help unruffle your feathers. This app employs the phone's microphone to assess your breathing, then establishes a realistically reduced "target rate." You can choose an audio accompaniment and set the length of your relaxation session. You then breathe in and out in sync with an image that pulsates at a gradually slower pace."

Though I have not tried the therapeutic sessions yet, I opened the app after downloading it. It asks you first to establish your breathing rate by breathing into your device's speakers (in my case, my iPad). After every breath, a progress bar would slowly move from left to right. It measured my breathing at 10 breaths per minute (BPM) and suggested a target breathing rate of 8 BPM. This app's new version apparently includes a desired target rate down to 5 BPM.

Just download it now and try it out later. The good reviews from sites like Harvard Medical, App Advice and others are reason enough to give it a shot.

Breathing Zone is a Universal App so you can download it on your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch although the iPod Touch will require a microphone-enabled headset with it if you want your breathing rate analyzed.