Running and Breathing Correctly
Running is an aerobic exercise that keeps your heart muscle healthy. It also improves circulation and respiration IF you breathe correctly when working out.
Go to any running website and you will probably see all sorts of information on how to breathe correctly, much of it contradictory or just plain weird.
Here are the essentials on breathing the right way while running.
Always breathe in and out primarily through your mouth
This helps convey the oxygen your muscles need to perform well while you are running.
Avoid throat breathing
Throat breathing is letting the air in and out in short gasps. It is not a good way to breathe for a number of reasons. The first is, it isn’t oxygen-efficient. The second is that it does not fully clear your lungs. Short gasps can also lead to hyperventilation and fainting.
Do deep belly breathing
As the name suggests, deep belly breathing, also known as diaphragmatic breathing, is a stronger form of breathing, in which the entire belly and ribcage expand with each breath and the muscles of the entire chest and abs exhale fully, clearing the lungs completely. Deep belly breathing is often encountered in yoga as a way to take in oxygen-rich air and exhale stale air and other impurities from the body.
Sit on a yoga mat or in a chair and practice long deep breathing a couple of times a day. Do it through the mouth and feel your abdominal area expand like a balloon, then contract. Use your muscles deliberately to expel the stale air from the bottom of your lungs.
Practicing in this way will make this style of breathing come more naturally to you so that you won’t need to think about it so much when you go out running.
Train your torso
Deep breathing exercises will help make the breathing more natural, but you can also train your muscles. Take in as deep a breath as possible, hold, then sip in 3 to 5 more little sniffs of breath until you can feel your chest expand from your waist all the way up to your collar bones. Sip in a few more times if you can manage, and then let it out in a controlled manner until it is time to take another breath.
You can also keep breathing out until your lungs feel like there is no air in them. Hold for 5 seconds, and then start to breathe again. This kind of muscle control improves breathing, which in turn boosts endurance.