How to Breathe During Exercise
The act of breathing seems pretty easy and should be second nature to us, right?…. Wrong! Often times we are breathing incorrectly during everyday activities and especially while exercising. Proper breathing creates more efficient workouts.
How do you know when to inhale and exhale? Should you breathe through your mouth or out your nose? And the list of questions goes on. When we inhale, we bring oxygen to the lungs and cells in the body. Exhaling rids our bodies of carbon dioxide and other toxins. Reportedly most people use just 10%-15% of their actual lung capacity, resulting in quick, shallow breaths.
The 5 most common breathing mistakes during workouts are that many people:
1- Holding your breath
2- Breathing too fast
3- Breathing too slow
4- Breathing too deep
5- Breathing too shallow
Holding or straining your their breath during strenuous activity limits oxygen delivery to the brain and cause dizziness, fainting, a spike in blood pressure and other complications.
Different workouts require different types of breathing for the most effective results:
Cardio (Aerobic) Breathing
Exercises such as walking, running, biking, and Spinning require deep, steady breaths. For cardio exercises, mouth or nose breathing is a preference to the exerciser. Diaphragmatic breathing allows for deeper, fuller breaths and better oxygen delivery during intense exercise. Here’s how to do it:
- Relax your abdominals slightly. Pulling them in too tightly or sucking in your stomach will limit how fully your can breathe.
- Breathe deeply enough that your belly—not your chest—rises and falls as you inhale and exhale.
- Continue this technique at your own pace to meet your oxygen needs during exercise.
Strength Training Breathing
Generally, it is recommended that you exhale on the exertion (difficult) phase of the exercise and inhale on the easier phase. But the most important this is to breathe! Eventually, your actions and breath will sync up to produce the most effective breathing pattern for your body.
Proper breathing during stretching aids in the release of waste byproducts created during exercise. It also enables you to increase your flexibility.
Breathing tips: Inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth when stretching. Relax into the stretch with each exhale more fully or give into the stretch a little further, but make sure that you never stretch past a seven on a scale of 1-10.
What are your preferred breathing methods or techniques? When do you find it most difficult to control your breath? I’d love to hear, because after all, breathing is fundamental. KEEP BREATHING!
(Photo Source: http://www.nestorlima.com/are-you-enjoing-life/)