Breathing is essential in our lives but not most of us are doing it right. Learn inhalation and exhalation tips to achieve optimal breathing benefits.
Breathing is essential to life because it’s the mechanism that allows oxygen, which is necessary for life, to enter our body. That said, it is important to know how to breathe correctly to achieve optimal function and performance, especially during exercise. In fact, inhalation and exhalation have a tremendous impact on the quality of your exercise.
Breathing is an automatic process but regularly we are not aware of how we are doing it. However, it’s important that you are mindful of your breathing especially during exercise or even during anxiety attacks, stress, asthma and other conditions.
Importance of Proper Breathing
Proper breathing is essential to good health because it provides us the oxygen necessary for certain bodily functions. In an exercise, it helps maintain healthy oxygen levels thus preventing us from losing energy. But aside from that, it also has some other benefits:
Body Posture Improvement
When you breathe accurately, your chest expands and helps keep your back straight. Hence, it is essential for most exercises because it keeps your back in line.
It Improves Physical and Mental Performance
When we breathe, our body takes in oxygen which is vital for cells, tissues, and organs to function. The oxygen is distributed throughout the body, including the muscles thus giving it more power to exert. Moreover, this effect applies not only to those who exercise but everyone in general.
The more oxygen we breathe in, the more oxygen your body has to use for other bodily functions.
- Aside from physical performance, it also promotes mental performance such as focus and concentration
Strengthen Cardiovascular System
During inhalation and exhalation, your heart and lungs are being practiced along with each of every breath.
- As follows, your physical and mental performance will also be improved
It Aids In Weight Loss
Essentially, the body needs water and oxygen to convert fat into energy. The more you take in, the more your body can get free stored water, toxins and fat.
- That in turn, results in weight loss
Proper breathing fuels the process, therefore hastening the weight loss more efficiently.
- Reduce stress and anxiety
- Lower pain levels
- Lower blood pressure
- Improve bowel function
- Strengthens immune system
One the other hand, when your body doesn't get enough oxygen, it could cause the following:
- Chest pain
- Mental fog
- Irritable bowel and digestive problems
Inhalation and Exhalation: How To Breathe Properly
One of the most important aspects of exercises, whether it's lifting, holding yoga poses, or doing a cardio workout, is breathing. Without proper breathing techniques, you won't get the amount of oxygen needed and that sure will prevent you from getting the results you aim for.
Other Breathing Tips
For regular activities, we don’t need to be as mindful of our breathing. As mentioned earlier, it is an automatic process so it happens even if we are unaware of it. However, knowing these techniques can still improve your breathing, thus enhance the quality of your health. For normal circumstances, use these proper breathing techniques for optimal breathing:
Breathe through your nose
The nose refines the air better than the mouth does because of the nasal hair that filters.
- When you breathe through your mouth, you are breathing unfiltered air that may contain bacteria and viruses
Breathe with your diaphragm
When you breathe, you are using muscles in the abdomen, your chest, neck, shoulders and the diaphragm. When you breathe with your diaphragm, your breath is sweet and deep. It allows your lungs to expand more and improves the gas exchange process.
Extend the exhale
- This action promotes relaxation and allows for a deeper inhalation
Be conscious of your body
Try to observe the rhythm of your breaths and the posture of your body. An upright posture allows for deeper breaths and gives the diaphragm more room for work.
Breathe as you normally would but observe whether your hand on the abdomen rises or not. If your abdomen rises and your chest stays relatively flat, your breathing is good.
- On the contrary, if it's your chest that is rising but your abdomen barely moves, then you need to improve your breathing.
Breathing may be an automatic process, but you can still control a lot of it. The way you should breathe during exercise is not the same as the way you should breathe under normal conditions.
To such a degree, it’s critical to follow proper breathing techniques during normal activities and exercise in order to achieve optimum oxygenation in your body.