Are you using proper breathing techniques while exercising? It may be something you’ve never even thought about, but it can be a pivotal point in a successful workout. Whether you’re lifting weights (anaerobic) or going for a run (aerobic) your breathing is important in many ways. Even during your warm up stretch, paying attention to your breathing patterns can give you a better workout.
Endurance: Controlled breathing will go a long way to maintaining a steady workout. During a cardio workout, you’ll have to keep your breathing level heavier than average but you don’t want to be outright panting. If you can talk but your breathing is still laboured you’re probably in the right breathing range. Your breathing is an indication of your heart rate, and with a cardio workout, your heart rate is determining the intensity level of your activity.\n\nBreathing may seem less important while lifting weights but that is most certainly not the case. Do not hold your breath while strength training! Your muscles need that oxygen you’re breathing in and you’ll be able to last a lot longer if you keep your breathing steady.
Blood Flow: Holding your breath in a workout or not breathing evenly can affect your blood pressure. The physical activity you’re doing has already elevated your heart rate, but adding uneven breathing can increase this and that can be dangerous if your blood pressure is already high. You’re working out to be healthier so doing something that could endanger you is only counter-productive.\n\n
Maintaining Stress;: Not only will proper breathing techniques prolong your workout and keep your heart beating at a safe pace, it can also just relax you and make your workout more enjoyable. While doing your warm up and cool down stretches, take the time to breathe slowly and deliberately. This will focus you and let you really feel the progress your body has made. Controlled breathing will lower your heart rate after an intense workout and will replenish your muscles with the much needed oxygen they have used up.
Your body is a fine tuned machine and even though breathing may seem like a trivial thing it should not be overlooked. Proper breathing will give you a more effective and enjoyable workout so whether your riding a bike, doing bench presses, or holding a difficult yoga pose, just breathe!