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How To Breathe When Exercising For An Efficient Workout

Breathing while exercising- seems simple enough. We all breathe on a regular basis. But most of us are probably not breathing correctly or efficiently.



Let’s do a simple exercise and notice what happens to your breath.


Do some high knees with me for about 10 seconds - what happens to your breath? It becomes shallow. You breath more often. Perhaps you tried to take deeper breaths. Where did you notice your breath originating from? For most of us we notice it in our chest.


Breathing is scientific in nature. And while we can certainly take a deep dive into what is happening within the body, what most of us need to know is that when you exercise your muscles work harder therefore they need more oxygen and produce more carbon dioxide so your breathing has to increase - exactly what we noticed in our exercise.


Now let’s try another exercise. I want you to focus and take some slow controlled steps around the room. Notice your breath. Did it get more purposeful?


While there are breathing techniques for running and HIIT workouts vs weight lifters, deeper breaths during exercise can fill your lungs to capacity so that oxygen can be dispersed to your muscles providing a more efficient workout.


However the WAY you breathe is important. Remember that more purposeful breath? Where did it originate from? It was likely a deeper, core movement.


Most of us have probably heard of belly breathing where you expand the belly like a balloon. However if you look at any animal, like a dog for example their breath is a circular motion. Utilizing the entire circumference of their body. As you take a deep breath sometimes we have the tendency to involve the shoulders and it becomes a whole body action. But take your hands and place them on the sides of your rib cage. Allow yourself to expand the rib cage all the around while pulling the shoulders down the back and activating the core muscles while inhaling through the nose and exhaling through the mouth.


THIS is efficient breathing. So whatever technique you add onto this while exercising like inhaling to prepare and exhaling through exertion, make sure that you are utilizing proper breath for the most efficient workout.

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