How to optimize your breathing while exercising
When we are training, the oxygen demand is much higher, so we must go to continuous breathing to optimize our training session performance and get results as soon as possible. As long as we learn to breathe properly, we will avoid fatigue and our exercise will be longer.
Breathing is a vital activity when we do physical exercises; because that is the only way our muscles and tissues can oxygenate, fulfill their functions and provide energy for movement.
One of the most frequent mistakes when we perform physical exercise is to retain the air before an effort, especially in loaded exercises or exercises that require certain muscular resistance. Breathing is also an important part in the correct technical execution of any activity.
The oxygen demand increase every time we move; therefore, the body optimizes its operation to get the air it needs, but we can have a greater control over respiratory movements that allow us to improve our sport performance.
We experience fatigue because of the extra work our muscles receive, hence the need to have good blood flow and oxygen through breathing.
A scientific way to explaining breathing is that when you inhale the air it is poured into microscopic air sacs in the lungs called alveoli, where oxygen is supplied to the red blood cells and carbon dioxide is transferred from the blood to the air in the alveoli. Oxygen-rich blood flows to the heart, which then pumps throughout the body. Then, carbon dioxide is exhaled.
You should also know that the respiratory center of your brain is the one that sends the messages to the respiratory muscles, telling them when to breathe. This is automatic; you do not have to think about it.
Breathing according to each activity
According to studies an athlete can determine his level of effort during the exercise and how strong he should be breathing. For less intense exercises, such as walking, you should not breathe so hard; you should be able to hold a conversation. For intense exercise, like running, you have to breathe faster, but you should still be able to speak with short phrases.
Everything will depend on the activity. Breathing is also important when stretching. Flexibility training helps prevent cramping, stiffness and injuries. It is also noticed that the correct breathing technique when lifting weights is to inhale before lifting the weights and exhaling during the course of the lifting or movement.
There are emotional states that require good breathing. Abdominal breathing is one of the best exercises used to reduce anxiety. It is all about breathing with the diaphragm, which is the muscle that makes the lungs work. So the whole body concentrates in relaxing, and it is scientifically proven that this increases the amount of oxygen that we introduce into the brain; this causes a greater state of calmness.
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