Has anyone told you you’re breathing wrong? I mean you’ve been breathing all of your life so surely you know how to breathe? The truth is by learning different breathing techniques you will improve your exercise performance, and your overall health too.
1. When you are lifting weights, have you noticed you inhale on the most strenuous part of the workout and exhale on the easiest part? You really should be doing just the opposite because when you are lifting weights it is important for you to exhale during the most strenuous part. This will not only ensure you are getting enough oxygen to your muscles, but will also help you engage your core. One word of warning, this does momentarily raise your blood pressure so if you suffer from high blood pressure or cardiovascular problems, you should not attempt this breathing technique.
2. Before you begin warming up for a cardio work out spend a few minutes practicing deep breathing exercises. Sit with your back straight, breathe in through your nose, keeping your shoulders in place, allowing your belly to move in and out to accommodate your expanding lungs. By spending a few minutes focusing on the proper way to breathe before you work out, you are reinforcing proper breathing techniques and are more likely to continue this throughout your workout. Remember, if your muscles do not get enough oxygen they cannot work properly so it is very important to slow down and take deep breaths.
3. When you are running or doing any other type of cardio it is suggested you use a 3:2 ratio inhale: exhale. In order to do this, you inhale slowly over three steps then exhale over two. For example, if you are walking you will inhale left, inhale right, inhale left then you would want to exhale right and exhale left. This does take a little bit of concentration and you may find you have to slow your pace slightly when you first begin practicing this technique. However, once your body is used to it, it will become as natural as breathing. Using this technique will ensure your CO2 levels do not increase while you are working out. You want to make sure your CO2 levels do not increase because CO2 levels are what causes a high heart rate, lactic acid production, and lowers your endurance level during any cardio workout.
By implementing these techniques, you will find you are able to work out longer and breathe easier throughout the entire workout. Studies have shown by increasing your oxygen intake, you are able to burn more fat than if you did not incorporate smart breathing technique while exercising.