Learning to breathe correctly while working out can significantly improve your fitness routine. Proper breathing during a body workout supplies your muscles with optimum oxygen, which allows you to strengthen your body more effectively. Here are a few ways as to how breathing can affect your workout results.
Ideal Way to Breathe
When it comes to the most efficient breathing technique to follow during resting and exercising, it has to be diaphragmatic breathing. It involves diaphragmatic muscles with every breath, and engages slow breathing. This is a great breathing technique for exercise as it locks the core and supplies steady amount of oxygen to your muscles, avoiding early fatigue.
This form of breathing can also help you prevent abdominal cramps during workout sessions. These cramps happen due to the usage of wrong muscles while breathing. The best way to learn this breathing technique is to lay yourself flat on the floor, and place one hand on the chest while the other rests on your stomach. Make sure your stomach rises when you breathe in, and comes down when you breathe out. Be sure to inhale 10 times in total for each set until you master the technique
Dissimilarities between Nose and Mouth Breathing
Most of us are accustomed to breathing through our nose than our mouth. Our nose has cilia (hair-like-structure) that aids in purifying air that contains pollution, allergens and bacteria before it reaches the lungs. The nasal airway also assists in moisturising air through mucus, in order to avoid irritation. However, breathing via the mouth does not give such filtering function and air humidifying qualities.
Most people would naturally breathe through their mouth while exercising. This is due to the lack of air that is inhaled via the nose during intense workouts. Breathing through the nose may not be the best for power but it is perfect in lowering your breathing rate. This is why it is best suited for physical activities that centre on mobility and relaxation, like yoga tai chi, and Pilates.
Controlled Breathing during Strength Training
While performing strength training, the ideal breathing technique is to breathe out during the concentric phase (lifting of weights). In order to increase core engagement, one should exhale and squeeze air out of the stomach. Having a tight core ensures more power and stability, which aids in getting better lifting performance. Additionally, breathing out while lifting also prevents a drop in blood pressure, which can stop you from getting post-lift dizziness.
Aerobic Exercise Requires Consistent Breathing
Following a consistent breathing method that focuses on even and measured breaths is best suited for aerobic workouts. By doing so, it makes sure that there is an increase of nitric oxide into your body, which helps in enlarging blood vessels and increasing oxygenated blood flow to the heart for it to function better. Besides that, it also provides good amount of oxygen to fatigued muscles while exercising.
If that is not all, even and consistent breathing done when performing long-distance endurance sports also ensures a steady pace throughout the sport. The best way to do it is to inhale for 2-3 seconds and exhale at the same length of time during endurance sports. An instance of this is to inhale for three foot strides and exhale after three following strides
Mobility Routines Need Longer Breaths
Deep, long breaths promote better access to your body motions. By not doing this, it could retain tension and limit movement. A breathing method that involves taking long breaths can help in getting rid of tension and easing through a full range of motion. In yoga, breathing that follows this technique is crucial when moving into deeper stretches or poses. It is recommended to do 4-5 seconds of inhalation and exhalation each during mobility movement. As you progress, it is best to increase the seconds.
Breathing is something that we all learn naturally at birth. Breathing correctly while exercising can be nailed through consistent practice. Once we master and understand the importance of breathing while exercising, it can positively affect the effectiveness of a workout, leading to a much stronger body and better knowledge on how breathing impacts movement.