Breathing during Exercise – Some Tips

Breathing is one of the important aspects when you are exercising. Though breathing is natural to life, your personal trainer will tell you that when working out you have to pay special attention to how you breathe.

Many people in an attempt to fully concentrate on the body movements actually forget to breathe. Sometimes they breathe slower, deeper, or too fast. Even breathing in and out as required in some exercises is not done correctly. Given below are some important breathing tips to follow when working out:

When you are doing strenuous exercises

Strenuous exercises result in the body requiring more oxygen and the breathing rate becomes faster. If you hold your breath during strength training it will limit the amount of oxygen that gets delivered to the brain and could cause fainting, dizziness, rise in your blood pressure and many other such complications.

So when doing strength training you should just breathe naturally. Your personal trainer may advise that you should exhale when you exert more during the exercise, and during the easier part, you should inhale. If you follow this advice you will not make the mistake of holding your breath.

The after-stretches

Once you complete your workout you should breathe fully and freely. This will help you to relax your body and return it to a state of rest. It also helps to remove by- product waste of the exercises and improve your flexibility. A personal trainer will advise you to take relaxed diaphragmatic and deep breaths rather than taking shallow breaths, or holding the breath altogether.

Using the art of pilates

Breathing correctly while working out is most important as emphasized by Joseph Pilates who developed his own exercises for mind and body. Emphasis should be on ribcage or lateral breathing which is different from diaphragmatic breathing as explained above.

When your abdomen muscles are engaged, you will inhale through your nose and your belly will not rise. At the same time air will fill your lungs and they expand into the back laterally; this makes your belly stay flat and tight.

When you exhale, with slightly open mouth you need to push the air out slowly and forcefully. Your personal trainer might also guide you with this way of breathing as it will keep the abdominal muscles engaged and help you to perform the Pilates workout more easily and with more control.

When doing aerobics

For any aerobic exercise such as biking, running, walking etc. the rule is to take deep breaths. Some people breathe through their mouth as it provides them with more oxygen. This method of diaphragmatic breathing is good for cardio activities. A personal trainer will tell you that this method of breathing is totally in contrast with shallow breathing from the chest, which one does while resting. Diaphragmatic breathing can be done as follows:

  • You need to relax your abdominals and pull them in tightly.
  • Then take a deep breath so that your belly rises and drops when you breathe in and out.
  • Practice this technique so that your body gets the oxygen it requires during workouts.