We all breathe. We do it all of the time, whether we are thinking about it or not. It is something that we take for granted until we have trouble breathing.
Once you have trouble breathing, you’ll never take it for granted again. There is nothing like the crushing, itching, burning feeling in your chest when you need air and then you try to inhale and are not able to inhale enough.
I suffer from asthma. Luckily I have never had it bad enough that I’ve had to go to the hospital for it. But it does affect me regularly.
Many people suffer from some sort of breathing disorder. Breathing is something that is often overlooked, but it can make your workout routine, and life, miserable. When breathing properly, exercising much more comfortable.
The very first activity that I start the Pain Free Lifestyle program with is proper breathing. Proper breathing will set the groundwork for a successful exercise routine. If you exercise and aren’t breathing properly, you will put stress on your heart and cardio-vascular system. You will be susceptible to hyperventilating. Your arms and legs will not get enough oxygen and you will experience more burning and pain in the muscles that control those areas. Proper breathing is often taken for granted, but it is essential for comfortable exercising.
Proper breathing will allow you to get the most out of every breath. It will allow you to fill your lungs up with as much air as possible so that you can get the proper amount of oxygen that your body needs. It will help you to get rid of by-products from exercising that contribute to muscle pain and burning.
First let’s start off with lung anatomy. We have overdeveloped lungs. We have huge lungs. When we are talking and resting not breathing hard, we are only using the top 1/3 of our lungs. We commonly use only 1/3 of our total lung capacity.
This contributes to irritants getting stuck in the bottom of our lungs and causing an infection. Breathing deeply will allow you to flush much of the crap that accumulates in the bottom of your lungs. This can help to prevent infections such as pneumonia and irritate breathing problems such as asthma and bronchitis.
If you want to get the most out of breathing, then imagine your lungs as a big bellows. You want to get as much air into the bottom of your lungs as possible. This will only be possible if you push your belly out as you suck air into your lungs. Don’t breathe into the top of your chest. Don’t puff your chest out when breathing. Push your belly out when breathing in, when inhaling.
Pushing your belly out while inhaling accomplishes two things. First it helps you to suck air into the bottom third of your lungs. It will also make room for all of that extra air to fit in your abdomen. When breathing out or exhaling, don’t do it too fast and don’t overlook it.
It used to be thought that the burn that you feel in your muscles while exercising is from a buildup of lactic acid or lactate, that forms in the muscles while exercising. It was recently discovered that lactate is a buffering agent. It actually helps you to process energy and the effects from exercising more effectively. What causes the burning is a buildup of hydrogen ions that are released from cells along with lactate, during exercise.
It is this buildup of hydrogen ions that causes the soreness and burning in muscles associated with exercise. This buildup of hydrogen ions is managed by exhaling. The more you exhale, the more hydrogen ions you are able to get rid of. Thus reducing the soreness in your muscles.
So how are you supposed to breathe? Breathe in through your nose for a count of three. Hold it for a count of four, exhale for a count of five, exhaling through pursed lips. This is how you should breathe on a regular basis, while you are just walking around daily. Some scientists who study breathing argue that we should never breathe from our mouth. Focus on breathing like this especially during exercise.
It can be hard to breathe like this during exercise. That is why I think that it is easier and more realistic to breathe in through your nose and out of your mouth through pursed lips, without worrying about the counting. If you can control and slow down your breathing, you’ll be much more comfortable during exercise.
If you can breathe properly throughout the day it will help to reduce stress and prevent colds. By clearing out some of the mucous that can accumulate in the bottom of the lungs, you can shorten the duration of colds and illnesses.
If you can breathe properly during exercise, and stay in control of your breathing, you will be much more comfortable while exercising, and more likely to stick with it. You will be able to supply your body with all of the oxygen it needs. You will not hyperventilate.
Exercise smarter, not harder. Exercise to feel good, not to look good. Learn how to breathe properly while exercising, it will allow you to exercise as comfortably as possible. It is the Pain Free Way.