Wellness Embodied Blog

What if developing better breathing habits was just as important as developing better eating habits for your fitness and performance? Maybe it is! 

It may seem simple, but developing better breathing practices during exercise can have a significant impact on your fitness. All of our muscles require oxygen to function. Getting oxygen into the blood is easy, simply take a breath, however getting oxygen from the blood to where it needs to go (the working muscles) is a little more complex. It requires some help from Carbon Dioxide (CO2) and this is where developing better breathing habits becomes important.

We focus a lot of attention on nutrition and hydration, but are we spending enough time learning how to breathe for optimal performance and recovery? The way we breathe has a strong effect on our energy, and our form. By ensuring optimal air distribution through the lungs we can increase oxygen uptake by 10 – 15% ie there is more oxygen going to the muscles that need it. Our ability to activate the diaphragm is also directly correlated to our core strength, trunk stability and muscular control, which means we are less likely to default to a poor position, and therefore less likely to injure ourselves.

Our aerobic capacity (creating energy with oxygen) dictates how well we use energy and clear metabolic waste (did someone say lactic acid!) By developing an understanding of respiration you can better control your energy. One of the biggest indicators of if we are creating energy aerobically (with oxygen) or anaerobically (without oxygen) is whether or not we can breathe through our nose. The need to breathe through the mouth indicates we have transitioned from aerobic to anaerobic, which is a much less efficient system, producing less energy and more by-product. So the next time you need to open the mouth, try to drop the intensity and maintain nose breathing instead. You will recover faster and should feel less ‘puffed’ at the end of your exercise session. 

If you want to optimise all aspects of your breathing and performance, book in for our 60 minute specialised respiratory assessment, and leave with a program tailored to you. Mobility exercises, breathing protocols and a level of understanding that ensures you have more control over your energy.

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