I have noticed in my journey as a fitness trainer a variety of things related to physical fitness. One of the most constant, peculiar and at times challenging things to teach clients is how to properly breathe.
Without going into detail of the specifics of poor breathing I would rather like to focus upon the proper form of breathing. In particular when we are working out during exercise.
To get comfortable breathing properly lets review these 5 concepts:
- Breathe through your nose: Sounds simple? Not really. A vast majority of people when not working out breathe through their mouth. Our noses filter oxygen as it passes through. Nose hairs trap particulate matter and mucus encases it so we can blow it out. Plus Nose breathing warms the air as it passes through the sinuses.
- Breathe with your diaphragm: Your diaphragm is a thick smooth muscle that sits below your lungs and above the liver. When we breathe through our nose it helps neural logically to activate the contraction of this muscle. Which contracts down while the lungs inflate.Engaging this muscle helps us get as much oxygenated blood to our working muscles as possible.
- Breathe relaxed: Try not to clench your teeth or tighten you neck muscles as this method will increase blood pressure and restrict your ability to expel carbon dioxide from your lungs efficiently. Relax take a deep breath through your nose and exhale through your nose to prime your diaphragm and then execute your move.
- Breathe rhythmically: Try not to breath too fast nor too slow. With each phase of movement you should be breathing. When performing a contraction ( shortening muscle ) breathe in and breathe out when you are releasing the tension.
- Breathe silently: Try not to make noises. Such as wheezing, snorting, or grunting uncontrollably. Silent breathing should be fluid breathing.
To practice this method of breathing. Let's have you begin by lying on your back face up.
Have your arms by your side with your palms faced up.
Close your eyes and focus on breathing through your nose.
Slowly exhale through your nose.
Practice this for 3-5 minutes.
Repeat the above while standing up. Alternate twice between both methods so that you can be aware of your rhythm of breathing while supine and weight bearing.
If you experience asthma or shortness of breath this is a temporary condition. Granted you may need to take inhalers to open your lungs but practicing breathing in a relaxed state and disciplining yourself to walk or run on a weekly basis can help increase the functional capacity of your cardiorespiratory system. This conditioning will help you in training by increasing your stamina and your ability to last longer in a workout.
If you aren't seeing improvement in your breathing and you have been practicing to the best of your ability. It is recommended that you see your primary health care provider and see what the underlying causes maybe.
Next Level Fitness is a small private fitness facility in Oakland, CA. It is located in the GrandLake area of Oakland. Next Level Fitness provides chiropractic, personal training and small group training services to these areas of Oakland 94610, 94611, 94602. We cater to " Every-Body " but specialize in fitness services for adults 30 (+). Please join our fitness family!