The Chinese solution to getting old is to exercise to keep the body supple. Tai Chi was particularly prized for this.
Taoists also believed that a person was allocated a limited amount of breaths to breathe. Once their allocation was up, the person would die. To combat this, they devised breathing exercises to extend the length of breath - making each breath last longer and extending life.
It is easy to see how the concept of limited breaths evolved. People with healthy lungs and relaxed breathing (longer breaths) are bound to live longer because it is an indication of a healthy cardiovascular system.
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