Breathe your way to a better workout

Posted 06/04/2014 | By HealthCorps

Mountain climbers who face dwindling oxygen levels in high altitudes learn to slow their breathing, and they also learn to breathe in deeply through their nose and to exhale through their mouth. Turns out, this kind of breathing can help to power you through challenging exercises too. When you slow both your breathing and your heart rate, it can help to saturate your cells with more oxygen. Practice deep breathing so you can use it during extremely taxing workouts. And yes, it can also help you during a stressful moment, or before a competition begins.

Dr. Oz talks about breathing techniques quite frequently, and he believes that deep breathing can help to prevent disease, reduce anxiety, fight pain, find focus, and boost your workout.  Some different breathing techniques include:

  • Breathe in deeply and then purse your lips and release your breath slowly
  • Close one nostril, breathe in through the other and then switch and breathe out through the first nostril
  • Bend over halfway at your waist and breath in deeply, with your hands behind you on your lower or mid back, so you feel the expansion; then release your breath slowly
  • Close your eyes, breathe in and then take double the amount of time to release your breath

Consider starting your deep breathing exercise with an initial goal of about 3 minutes/day, a few to several days a week. Then take several weeks to build up to deep breathing for 15 to 20 minutes, several times a week. A final goal is to engage with deep breathing at least once daily for about 10 – 15 minutes.

(Source: The Good Life, May-June 2014)

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