Breathing Techniques & Impact on Exercise

Overview

Breathing plays a critical role in all factors of life. Effective breathing allows an efficient transfer of oxygen from the outside air. The oxygen is then transported to our muscles and organs. When your respiratory muscles are strong and well-trained, you are more capable of supplying your body with more oxygen. Ample oxygen supply not only assists in supplying our muscles with energy but also helps us to recover at a faster rate.

Breathing & Cardiovascular Endurance

Cardiovascular endurance refers to your body’s ability to supply your muscles with the necessary oxygen it needs to perform a physical activity over a longer period of time. Your body uses this energy system for most activities that last longer than 30 seconds. Breathing and cardiovascular endurance are directly correlated. The stronger your respiratory muscles are, the better you can expect your cardiovascular endurance to be. When the muscles are provided with ample oxygen, they are less likely to fatigue and are better equipped to remove toxic byproducts that are produced as a result of contractions. Breathing is also essential in cardiovascular recovery. This means that the body can resume activity with a shorter break.

Breathing & Resistance Training

Developing proper breathing patterns during resistance training can also help to increase ability and performance. It is recommended that you exhale during the movement part of the exercise and inhale between repetitions or the less intense portion of the exercise. Proper breathing during resistance training can help to regulate heart rate, supply muscles with additional energy, and ensure that proper form is maintained. Irregular breathing patterns during exercise can often disrupt movement patterns as an exercise is being performed. It is important not to hold your breath for an extended period of time, especially if you are lifting something heavy!

Breathing & Relaxation

Breathing techniques can be utilized as an effective way to help promote relaxation! Whether you are preparing for a challenging exercise, getting ready for a long run, or cooling down after some tough exercises, focusing on your breathing can help enhance focus, calm down tense muscles, and settle down your heart rate. When we are calm and relaxed we are more likely to perform an exercise at a higher level! Taking some time to focus on your breathing after exercising is also an effective way to help transition the body from a state of activity to inactivity. Supplying the muscles with additional oxygen is a great way to kickstart the recovery process immediately after exercise.

If you have been neglecting the way you have been breathing as you exercise or even perform mundane activities around the house it is time to start paying attention! This could have a direct impact on how quickly you fatigue and how fast you recover.

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