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How to Breathe When Exercising: Increase Your Stamina and Endurance!
Are you aware of how you’re breathing during exercise? It’s important to know the correct breathing techniques for stamina and endurance while working out, and we’re here to help you learn them. Read on to learn the benefits of breathing techniques and how to use them today!
Breathing Exercises: Benefits and Reasons
If you’ve gone your entire athletic life without thinking about your breath control, you might think that there is no reason to consider it now. If that’s the case, you’re doing yourself a great disservice. After all, by focusing on proper breath control, athletes can see many benefits, including:
- Improved stamina and endurance
- More bodily control during exercise
- A more stable heartbeat
- Better flow of oxygen to your muscles
- Improved blood pressure
- A more efficient workout
- Easier post-workout recoveries
- Over the course of time, better overall heart health
- A strengthened diaphragm in chronic pulmonary heart disease patients
Sold? We don’t blame you. Proper breathing techniques make working out feel easier, thus leading athletes to progress in pursuit of their physical goals. If you’re ready to bring your game to the next level through the powers of breath control, read on; we have all the information you need to breathe your way into better athletics.
Breathing Exercises to Increase Endurance
Looking for breathing techniques for endurance and stamina? Whether you’re hoping to increase breathing stamina while running, lifting, or swimming, you’ll be focusing on the same technique. This form of breath control is called diaphragmatic breathing. You might recognize this term (and the technique that follows) if you’ve ever taken a voice lesson or sung with a choir before—many performers use this same technique!
How to Breathe With Your Diaphragm: A Primer
Diaphragmatic breathing may sound tricky, but in practice, it’s actually not very complicated. Though it might take some practice to do seamlessly, after some time, most athletes (and singers!) find this type of breathing intuitive and easy.
Let’s start with the basics. First, it will help you to begin practicing diaphragmatic breathing while lying down; this will enable you to feel your diaphragm move. Once you are comfortable laying on your back, bend your knees and place one hand on your chest and the other on your abdomen just beneath your ribcage. Use your stomach to take a deep, deep breath through your nose—if you’ve done it properly, the hand on your belly should rise, while your chest remains still. Purse your lips together and exhale through them while tightening your abs. You will feel your hand lower as you exhale.
Though diaphragmatic breathing may take a little time to get used to, it will be immensely helpful to you at the gym and as you undertake daily physical challenges like carrying groceries up a big hill. Keep practicing; you might find that as your diaphragmatic breathing improves, you can practice it while sitting in a chair. Just be sure to keep your upper body relaxed!
What Are the Dos and Don’ts of Breathing While Exercising?
Once you’ve nailed diaphragmatic breathing, there is still plenty for you to learn and hone to fully optimize your workouts. Here are some of our basic “dos and don’ts” of breath control while exercising:
Do remember to inhale through your nose when engaging in cardiovascular exercises. Depending on the intensity of the workout, you can either breathe through your mouth or nose. However, “in through your nose” isn’t the rule for all forms of exercise. For example, runners tend to benefit from exhaling through their mouths—it helps them gulp up large amounts of oxygen. If you’re unsure about which breathing pattern to use for a specific workout, speak to your coach—they’ll have an answer for you!
Don’t hold your breath—especially when you’re lifting weights. In fact, forgetting or waiting to breathe while lifting can be quite dangerous; it raises one’s blood pressure, which can lead to nausea, dizziness, or worst case, a heart attack. If you’re struggling with this one, we recommend counting your reps aloud; it will force you to breathe!
Do aim for deep breathing—it will encourage you to use your diaphragm. In general, shallow breath comes from the upper chest. These breaths aren’t particularly satisfying, nor do they lend themselves to physical or athletic activity.
Don’t forget to use breathing techniques to manage different athletic problems. For instance, if you find that running gives you side stitches, it’s possible to use breath control to help alleviate them. The next time you run, try exhaling when your left foot hits the ground, rather than the right. It might stop you from developing that type of pain.
Do know where your diaphragm is. Seriously—we know it can feel silly to practice breathing, but we highly recommend you actually locate your diaphragm (as outlined earlier) and feel your hands move properly. Don’t guess. The more you know about your body, the better you can use it.
Don’t double over when you lose your breath. Though it might feel natural to lean over with your hands resting on your knees, resist the urge. Instead, put your hands behind your head and stand as tall as possible. This will help you breathe deeper, as it opens your lungs up a bit.
Do breathe nice and slow while cooling down from a big workout. This will help you properly recover from your hard work.
Don’t be shy: if you need help with your breathing technique, ask a professional! Fitness coaches are experts on the subject of proper workout breathing, and chances are, they’d love to help you get on their level.
Jack City Fitness is a BREATH of Fresh Air!
You can sigh a breath of relief—if you’re a dweller of Boise, you’re in major luck. Idaho’s favorite gym, Jack City Fitness, is waiting for you to explore, get physical, and hit all of your workout goals.
Here at Jack City, we’ve scrapped the idea of exclusive membership plans, and instead focus wholly on giving a great experience to our athletes. That’s why, when you sign up to work out with us, we make you an official Jack City partner. As a partner, you are invited to utilize our fitness center as if you were at home. Our 24/7 facility access program means that you can come and hit the gym whenever you want.
Aside from nonstop access, Jack City partners are also encouraged to try our many dynamic classes, work with our incredible staff of personal fitness coaches, or even create their own custom training program. We opened our gym with the goal of providing the Boise athlete with everything they need to succeed and hit their goals, and we are always striving to create a welcoming and inspiring space for our partners. If you’d like to join our family, get in touch by calling (208) 999-1111. We’ll invite you over for a FREE fitness consultation and tour of the facility—and once you’ve signed up, you can jump right in. We can’t wait to meet you and help you meet your goals!