Breathing is one of the most important needs of the body because without oxygen humans would not be able to live. There are various breathing techniques which help to achieve different results. Deep breathing helps to relieve stress, fast breathing increases energy level etc. This proves that breathing is not only good for maintaining vital functions but also it can even help to change mood or life. Sometimes it’s hard to believe that you can breathe the wrong way because we breathe our whole lives. Although breathing is more commonly practiced by yoga and meditation enthusiasts, this is available to everyone. But how important is breathing for physical exercises?

First time I came across the need to breathe correctly when I started running. I noticed that I could run more when I was breathing correctly. Whenever I breathed incorrectly, one side always started hurting. Later I became interested in and looked for information about how breathing helped sports and found that the correct breathing can help to burn fat and perform exercises much easier. Isn’t it good to know such things and make it easier for yourself? Through chaotic breathing we cannot achieve results, make things worse for ourselves and feel very bad. When we breathe correctly we can do physical exercises much easier and the level of motivation increases significantly. So how do we need to breathe correctly while doing sports?

Breathing during intensive workouts/cardio

The basic advice during an intense workout is to breathe calmly, stably, deeply and consistently. Such breathing helps not only to overcome physical activity, but it also helps to calm down psychologically. For runners the 2:2 technique is well-known when the air is inhaled in two steps and exhaled through the remaining two steps. How to breathe better: through the mouth or nose? There is no single answer to this question, as different sources offer different ways because there are pluses in each case. Personally, for me, the most convenient way (especially when running) is to inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth.

Breathing during exercises

While doing physical exercises you should inhale in your initial position or in the lighter part of the training and exhale in the heavier part of the workout when you carry out force exercises. In this way, we can more easily overcome the physical load and at the same time the body burns fat more quickly. Why does it happen? We maintain more stability, do the exercise more precisely, so the result can be achieved faster. Returning to breathing the most convenient way for me (the same as running) is to inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth.

It is important not to hold the breath in while you are doing sport if you forget to breathe it may increase your blood pressure. To understand how to breathe effectively it is often enough to listen to your body. When we try different ways of breathing, we can feel which way is the most effective for us and how we can facilitate exercises with the help of breathing.

Breathing during yoga and other relaxation exercises

For relaxation and improving your overall well-being, it is recommended to breathe deeply and calmly. The main rule is to make inhaling and exhaling the same length. It can be from 3 seconds and be increased to for example 10 seconds. It is also very important to breathe deeply. Deep breathing happens when the inhalation starts from the abdomen and rises towards the chest, exhalation is done in the same way. I read that when people do deep breathing they often breathe through the mouth, but for me the most convenient way is to breathe through the nose. Deep breathing has a lot of advantages: burning fat, improving metabolism, relaxing muscles, significantly reducing anxiety and bad moods.

So take a 5-minute break just now and breathe stably, deeply and calmly and then you can immediately improve your well-being and feel the benefits of breathing!

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About the author

A Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT 200H) with Yoga Alliance, which acknowledges the completion of a yoga teacher training with a Registered Yoga School (RYS).

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