Posted on September 10, 2020 by Josh Puttock

This month we are looking at the often overlooked importance of breathing in exercise and for your general wellbeing.

Breathing is one of the few constants we have in life and breathing properly can influence the overall flow of our energy, which in turn changes our physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing.

The average person’s lungs move about 0.5 litres of air breathing, and this jumps up to 3 litres during vigorous exercise.  Many people today don’t properly engage the diaphragm, due to poor posture, lack of exercise, stress and other causes leading to discomfort and incorrect movement and even issues with spine and body alignment.

One easy way to get into the habit of better and controlled breathing is to incorporate it into exercise. Many of our clients will hold their breath during exercise or breathe irregularly. One way to get around this is to count the reps in an exercise out loud or inhale during relaxation and exhale during exertion in a movement. Try it next time you’re in the gym; it works very well on any of our Technogym kit. Improving posture during exercise will help also; standing tall will allow the chest to open up, allowing for deeper breathing and allow for better oxygen uptake which will improve things greatly.  Particularly during a pandemic that can affect the lungs, having a stronger respiratory system is important.

Along with building cardiovascular fitness and aiding activity, breathing can also help us to find relaxation and reduce stress. Below are 2 methods to try at home:

  1. Box Breathing/Square Breathing:
  • Sit/Lay in a comfortable position
  • Inhale for the count of 4
  • Hold the inhale for the count of 4
  • Exhale for the count of 4
  • Hold at the end of the exhale for the count of 4
  1. Diaphragmatic Breathing:
  • Lay in a supine position
  • Place one hand on your stomach and one hand on your chest
  • Inhale deeply, feeling the abdomen rise as it fills with air
  • Exhale fully and slowly, allow the abdomen to empty and fall back down towards the floor
  • For the breath count, try to exhale for double the amount of seconds as your inhale.

Happy Breathing!

Useful links:

https://blog.nasm.org/the-right-way-to-breathe-during-exercise

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/ways-relieve-stress/

 

By the Fulham Reach Team