When it comes to running, people only think about the use of muscles and how they are going to lose a lot of calories. However, it is much more than the mere movement of your muscles. You are finding a way to control your body and find a way to sync your breathing with your overall body movement. Before jumping into breathing and why it is important for running you need to start by understanding how you gain and lose energy.
Our body holds a very well-balanced system of consuming calories and then exerting them. You need to find a good balance between these two because if you do not, you might end up storing all the extra calories in the form of fat. This extra fat causes your body to become lethargic and you get overweight because you do not work out. To get back into shape, you need to work out or find a way to maximize your physical activity. Through physical activity, you will move your muscles and this will eventually help you burn calories.
When we do not consume enough calories, our body starts to break down the fat and extract calories from it. Eventually, this helps in losing weight. However, this requires a steady supply of oxygen that is used for breaking down fat. Our body starts with breaking down the fat via oxygen which is an easy process with no byproduct. However, when oxygen is not enough, the body tries to find another alternative where you do not need oxygen. This is called an anaerobic process of breaking down fat.
As a result of this process, your body doesn’t need oxygen but it leaves a byproduct stored in your muscles which eventually causes cramps. This byproduct is lactic acid which causes pain, stiffness, and soreness. Although lactic acid is later rinsed off it takes time and these few days can be really painful. To ensure that your body is not stressing out and you have enough oxygen so that you can extract all the calories that you need, a good supply of oxygen is very important.
Importance of Breathing Exercises
With the help of this article, we will highlight the importance of right breathing and also some of the ways runners can actually improve their breathing. We will mention yoga poses that help with easing down the breathing process as well.
How Runners Can Improve Breathing?
Runners need to sync their muscles movement with their breathing. This will help them make the most out of their workouts. Another important thing is that it will also help in improving the lungs capacity that might be affected due to a passive lifestyle. With better lung capacity you will not face shortness of breath. Some of the easy practices involve:
- Start with deep breathing exercises. You need to learn to hold your breath because this will help you push your lungs and explore the capacity. Eventually, you will see improvement in overall breathing and you will no longer face shortness of breath.
- Another important exercise that you can try is swimming because it helps you develop a good habit of using your 100% lungs capacity. This will eventually help you to work on all your muscles and your body will find a way to sync with the muscles’ movement.
- Meditation is another very good exercise that you can try For meditation, you need to sit at a calm place and focus only on what you can start. You can start by inhaling through your nose and then exhaling through your mouth, you need to hold your breath for at least a few seconds so you can use the maximum limit of your lungs.
- Anoexercisertant exercise is deep breathing. It has different types and different styles. One of the most common deep breathing methods is to keep your hand on your chest and the one on your belly. You need to inhale deeply and then count to 10 and then let go. After that you need to focus mainly on the way you breathe. Sometimes people find it hard to breathe for a certain time period because of flu or cold; this might trigger the wrong breathing patterns. The best way to resolve this issue is to use the evaporation inhaling method.
- Some people confuse meditation with yoga. Yoga is the unification of body and mind. This means that you will be working on breathing and your body muscles at the same time. For yoga you will be holding your breathing and focusing on the way you breathe but your body movement will allow you to sync your muscles with breathing. So far the most recommended and effective exercise is yoga. Simple yoga poses including Hasta Uttanasana, Ustrasana The Camel Pose, Bhujangasana The The Cobra Pose, Matsyasana The Fish Pose, Padma Sarvangasana, Ardha Matsyendrasana Half Spinal Twist Pose etc are some of the best poses.
- Guided imagery is another effective exercise that is recommended by pulmonologists. This is best for runners’ because it helps you find a good anchor in your mind that will help you to improve your speed and keep you motivated to do better. People who find it hard to run with consistent speed will find guided imagery very helpful because it keeps you prepared for the worst.
To sum it all up, it all comes down to how you train yourself. As a child when we start breathing, our muscles learn through practice. In case we have some issues with the external environment, some issues with the air, or have some biological problem, our body learns to adapt accordingly. There are people who have biological issues or their nose septum is not very good so their body develops a habit of breathing through the mouth. Although there is nothing wrong with breathing through the mouth because it technically helps you have the same amount of oxygen but it has some side effects. People who are mouth breathers eventually have teeth staining. They also develop major issues that are linked with discomfort while sleeping and even sleep apnea. It is better to figure out the changes that you need to make your breathing and the practice is to develop muscle memory so you can do it unconsciously and more easily. This will help you not only correct your posture but also aid you to keep breathing and staying calm in all kinds of conditions.
Ann Edwards is the fully qualified personal trainer from Elite sports. She has been helping people in the field of bodybuilding and fitness from more than a decade. Her career in nutrition and physical therapy has made her a fine addition for our team.