How To Breathe While Exercising
In this short article we are going to look at the importance of how to breathe while exercising.
The most important thing is that you just keep breathing! It sounds simple, but sometimes we get so caught up in the activity that we briefly forget, but failure to breathe makes exercising such as bodyweight workouts so much harder. That painful stitch in your side, for instance, is usually the result of not breathing enough; and, if you are short of breath, you will be tempted to stop your workout sooner than you should.
Opening up your lungs gets oxygen to your system which gets your circulation going. Your blood starts flowing to parts of your body that normally do not get much oxygenated blood. It was recently found that cardiovascular activity increases blood flow to the brain which stimulates the creation of new neurons, even in adults. Yes, that is right: cardio exercise makes you smarter! Constant breathing also helps create that wonderful sense of euphoria that is the reward of challenging physical activity. So, if you are just beginning, simply be conscious of how often you inhale and exhale, even if you are not doing it the way a trainer would recommend.
Remembering how to breathe while exercising should be a part of your pre-workout routine. Take a few moments to center yourself. Stand with your feet roughly shoulder length apart and balance your weight on the balls of your feet. Let your arms hang down from your sides, extending them slightly away from your body. Close your eyes and inhale deeply through your nose. Take about twice as long to exhale. Use this time to relax and feel your body as the air flows in and out of your system. It should feel very nice! If you take a moment to focus on breathing before you even start moving, you will set the rhythm for your workout.
You can then start thinking about more specific techniques for breathing while exercising. When engaging in cardiovascular exercise, the most important thing is to breathe deeply and continuously. Be conscious of how your body is feeling. If you find that you are going at a pace at which you cannot breathe as you would like, slow down for a while and refocus on your breath gradually returning to a pace you can handle. Try to inhale deeply and exhale in a slow and controlled manner. You should never feel as though you are hyperventilating or sucking up all the air you can get. Breathing through your nose is ideal, but once you really get going it is fine to breath through your mouth. Try to time the inhaling and exhaling to your motion. If you are running, for instance, you could inhale for two paces and exhale for three.
If you are doing some kind of strength training, the technique is a little more specific. The rule of thumb is that you inhale while you lengthen your muscle and to exhale when you contract a muscle. If you were doing bicep curls, you would inhale as you lowered the weight down and exhale as you pulled it back up to your shoulder. For squats, you would inhale as you lowered yourself down and exhale as you pushed yourself back up. This might sound a little confusing, but as you train you will see that it makes perfect sense. You give yourself air as your body prepares for the exertion, and then use a short, controlled exhale to give yourself the little push you need to complete the motion.