How Better Breathing will
by Christina Vartsos
While breathing is one of the most automatic processes in the body, paying attention to your breath during exercise can have a huge impact on your workout's effectiveness. Taking deep, regular breaths promotes the transfer of oxygen to your muscles, powering your body with energy and endurance.
Try our tips below for best results!
1. FILL YOUR LUNGS COMPLETELY
The most important technique for breathing during exercise, is to use your diaphragm. Initiate your breath from your belly, instead of chest to allow you to get deep breaths that fully fill your lungs with oxygen. To know if you are using the diaphragm, place your hands on your belly and lower ribs. As you breathe in, you should feel your belly and ribs rise.
2. MAINTAIN Even BREATHs
Breathe in and out smoothly, with equal length inhales and exhales. Adjust the speed and intensity of the breath based on the workout. For endurance exercises sustain longer and deeper breaths for better range of motion and release of tension. For strength-based exercises, breathe shorter and shallower to produce more power. If you can't catch your breath, slow down the overall pace of your breath and exercise until breathing feels easy and normal again.
3. BREAThing THROUGH THE NOSTRILS vs MOUTH
Breathing through your nose helps filter out pollution, allergens and bacteria from your lungs. However, you can't take in as much air through your nose as your mouth. This is why many people instinctively breathe through their mouths during exercise. Breathing through your nose slows down the pace of your breath so you can sustain exercise and improve stamina. Nose breathing should also be implemented to generate maximal power during intense exercises.
4. MATCH YOUR Inhales & Exhales
with THE MOVEMENT
Although your body “knows” how to breathe, becoming aware of the direction of your breath and choosing when to inhale and exhale you can improve the quality of your movement and muscle engagement. Inhale as you prepare for the effort and exhale as you produce the effort.
5. BE AWARE OF YOUR POSTURE during BREATHing
Position yourself upright so you can breathe from the diaphragm. Keep your chest and belly open and relaxed. Lift your head and tuck your chin to keep the airway open and smooth.
Your breathing habits won’t change overnight. But the good news is cardiovascular health improves quickly. Practice regularly and you will develop breathing patterns that are second nature to you.