Even the most athletic person can experience, or witness, an instance of poor breathing. You know that moment when you are on the field playing soccer, and all of a sudden you feel really out of it? It may not be the game, but your body certainly is feeling it. It is as if your lungs have been squeezed out of you. Or maybe you’ve been in the gym for hours and walking laps after laps without inhaling a single breath. Your body knows it needs oxygen to remain healthy, and that is why many sports activities have breathing exercises built into their routines. If you want to improve your overall fitness as well as your breathing capacity, we recommend incorporating some kind of exercise routine into your life on a daily basis. Read on to learn more about how breathing patterns influence fitness and how you can breathe better wherever you are!
Breathing plays a critical role in the body's overall fitness. When the breathing muscles are strong, they can generate enough power to propel and maintain the body's movement. When these muscles are weak, the body cannot move as efficiently and may experience fatigue. This is why regular, consistent and efficient breathing is so important to maintaining fitness levels. If you are not breathing correctly, you are missing out on the most important part of fitness: breathing! Proper breathing techniques are especially important when you are doing intense cardio exercises like running, elliptical, or biking.
- If you want to breathe better when you are working out, make your workouts more aerobic. Aerobic exercise is a type of physical activity that uses your body's oxygen supply to get it moving. Skipping the elliptical and running to the gym for a set of squats is not aerobic. To breathe better and increase your metabolism, choose exercises that activate your core and lower body, like planks, burpees, lunges, and squats.
- If you prefer elliptical or treadmill exercise, be sure to take a few moments to focus on each breath. When you are sitting down using a machine, there may be a tendency to hold your breath. The worst thing you can do is hold your breath while working out. If you do, you will burn fewer calories and get less out of your session.
- To maximize oxygen intake and intake of beneficial nutrients, try to change up your routine every hour or so while you work out. For example, if you are on the elliptical, change to a treadmill or a bike. Or if you are on a treadmill, change to a set of squats. This will keep your muscles and cardiovascular system engaged, increasing your metabolism.
- Incorporate breathing exercises right into your routine. Yoga, Pilates, and other mind-body exercises are excellent ways to incorporate breathing exercises into your weekly routine. If you are on a cardio routine, add an interval of slow-to-moderate movements, followed by an interval of more intense movement, like burpees.
- Breathing exercises can improve your endurance. Working out on an elliptical or treadmill for an hour won’t leave you much time for rest. So, to maximize the benefits of your session, try to change up your routine every hour or so.
- A breathing routine can help increase your metabolism and burn a higher percentage of calories. When you don’t breathe while working out, your body is less likely to use oxygen to produce energy. It’s as if your body is running on fumes.
- Breathing exercises can help improve your flexibility. When you hold your breath while performing an exercise, the muscles that you are working on don’t receive the oxygen they need to stay active and flexible. When you breathe while performing an exercise, you will improve your flexibility while you work out.
- You will also feel less overwhelmed by the rigors of a cardio session. If you are struggling to stay focused and motivated, breathing exercises can help!
Breathing is an essential part of our lives. It is important to breathe properly and to take breaks so that you don’t become too anxious and stressed. This is especially important when you are working out because not only is it important to get the heart rate up and burn calories, but it is also important to maintain a balanced emotional state. We often think of fitness as being all about the physical components of working out, like weight lifting and running, but there is an important emotional component that can be improved by breathing exercises. As you become more fit, your emotional state will also improve. You will be happier and healthier.