The Importance of Breathing Correctly While Working Out
There's a lot of buzz in the health and wellness community about breathing these days, with more studies and practitioners revealing the transformative effects that different breathing techniques can have on our physiology.
Aside from the de-stressing benefits and immune-boosting properties of focused breathwork, there's also some serious advantages for those of us working on our physique. We already know about the athletic body and fit cardiovascular system you get from better breathing... But as it turns out, you’ll achieve more measurable gains and workout even more effectively if you master the right breathing habits.
So why is this so critical? Let's find out, and discover the proper exertion breathing method below:
Your muscles need oxygen to fuel their cell’s activities. As you stress your body and perform all kinds of intense exercise motions, your muscles strain and require more fuel to perform the work demanded of them. If you can provide your muscles with this oxygen, you’ll be able to work harder and perform more intense exercises, increasing your gains.
However, breathing improperly means your muscles won’t get the oxygen they need. You’ll become tired more quickly and exhaust yourself more rapidly. Thus, your workouts won’t be as effective and any gains you do make will be muted.
Many people breathe improperly by default when they start working out. They breathe through their mouths and don’t take deep breaths – they might either hold their breath or take many rapid breaths one after another. This may feel good in the short term, but it’s not very efficient.
Furthermore, breathing improperly can cause a buildup of carbon dioxide in your blood. This happens naturally when you exercise, but poor breath control can exacerbate the effect, requiring you to exhale more rapidly and continuing an inefficient breathing cycle.
In reality, breathing properly involves drawing oxygen deep into your lungs and making the most of their capacity before exhaling. You get more bang for your buck by taking deeper and more controlled breaths, as your lungs can absorb more oxygen per breath in this way. Your blood carries that oxygen to your muscles, to their relief.
Furthermore, you should breathe according to a count or with a regular rhythm. It sometimes helps people to count their breaths one at a time if their natural instinct is to take rapid, shallow breaths one after the other.
Not only should you breathe this way when working out, but you should also try to take these calming breaths when you’re cooling down. This can sometimes help you avoid the “stitches” that are common in the abdomen after exercise and will help you relax more quickly.
All in all, breathing correctly plays a much bigger role in exercise efficiency and workout gains than you might initially think.
Practice mastering your breathing before you head to your next workout and you’ll be surprised at how much better you feel and how much more active you’re able to be.
Stay strong, warrior.
Justin | MME Fitness Contributor
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