Breathwork while exercising

This month we look forward to the Iron Man Cairns, the ‘race in paradise’! Shortly after we start swimming, running, or riding our bike we might start to feel out of breath. Strenuous activities like these can cause our muscles and respiratory system to work harder than normal. Our bodies require more oxygen to remove carbon dioxide build up and this can make breathing feel more difficult.

When we do aerobic exercises, we establish some sort of rhythmic breathing, measured by the number of exhales and inhales we take. Finding a steady rate helps meet the cardiorespiratory demand that our muscles need to function properly. Our bodies automatically adjust to what feels natural to us, but by staying focused on our breathing we can help maintain a steady flow of oxygen to our muscles.

We’ve considered four hacks that help us practice breathing properly while doing cardio exercises:

  1. Mouth or Nose Breathing: generally speaking, breathing in and out through your nose is the most efficient technique during intensive exercise. However, in some instances mouth breathing is optimal, like when participating in competitive swimming. Some people find mouth breathing more effective for meeting their oxygen demands.
  2. Deep belly breaths: breathing deeply into our belly and fully contracting the diaphragm helps increase blood oxygenation. Try being mindful when exercises to see how deeply you breathe.
  3. Fixing our posture: posture can help us breathe better since there is more space for expansion. Keep your posture upright will help oxygen circulation, providing us with energy.
  4. Warm up and cool down: warming up and cooling down can help our breath prepare for the activity. It can act as a cue for your body to start adapting its breathing patterns and be ready for endurance.

FUN FACT: athletes need to consume adequate amounts of carbohydrates during a race. Endura Sports Energy Gels are designed to provide a shot of energy that an endurance athlete needs to last long distance.