While we all know that breathing is important when it comes to performing well during exercise, but we often forget to actually pay attention to our breath when we are in the moment. Another problem is that we don’t always know how to breathe properly during exercise, and we find ourselves breathing inefficiently for the activity that we are doing. So, what is the right way to breathe when you are doing exercise?
Why Is Breathing Important During Exercise?
Before we talk about the correct way to breathe, we will briefly discuss why it is important to have control over your breathing during exercise. No matter what kind of activity you are performing, whether it is running, cycling, swimming, pilates, yoga, or weight training, proper breathing techniques will help you to perform at higher levels. Deep and controlled breaths allow for the intake and distribution of oxygen into and around the body; powering the muscles and helping you to maintain your activity. In other words, it is allowing you to take insufficient oxygen for your training, while efficiently exhaling out carbon dioxide. If you can maintain your breathing, keeping your breaths regular through the workout, you will be able to push yourself further without feeling as though you need to take a break or even stop – and the ability to push yourself further for longer will help you to reach your fitness goals.
What Is The Proper Breathing Technique?
There are many ways to breathe properly, which will depend on the specific activity that you are performing and you may need to consult with a trainer or coach if you need to work on your specific goals. However, there are some golden rules for breathing during exercise that are beneficial for everyone engaging in physical activity:
- This is the main rule which is easy to remember and to follow: breathe in on relaxation, exhale during exertion. When you are performing reps of an exercise try to focus on your breathing and exhale as you perform the movement (e.g. crunching up into a sit-up or lifting the weight) and inhale as you relax out of the movement (e.g. when returning to start position).
- Keep your breath in equal to the breath out. Focus on keeping your breaths in and out equal, particularly during cardiovascular activity. A trick for practising this is to count the breaths in and out to ensure that they are equal.
- Remember to breathe from the diaphragm, not the chest. This will help you to take in deep and full breaths, providing your body with sufficient oxygen to perform.
- Find a rhythm and adjust your breath. Make sure to adjust your breathing pattern to your movements. You should not hold your breath unnecessarily, just to try and fit your routine – it is okay to breathe more if you need to! Try to find a rhythm which works for you and allow the rhythm to change with increasing intensity of movements or as you get tired.
- Lastly, take care of yourself. Make sure to slow your pace down if you cannot breathe comfortably and take deep breaths until your breathing returns to normal.
Breathing correctly is just one of the things that you have to get right when exercising. When you do our Personal Training Diploma, you’ll learn about these and so much more! For more information, please follow this link.