Top Breathing Tips for Exercising

Top breathing tips for exercising

I always seemed to struggle with breathing when I would jog or do the elliptical, I would end up with pain/cramping in my side.   Most of the time when I would do any type of strength training, I was holding my breath. As someone who suffers from Endometriosis and Pelvic Floor dysfunction, it wasn’t until recently that I discovered the reason why breathing is so important. I also learned the top breathing tips for exercising.

Many adults don’t breathe correctly. They are usually breathing too shallow, moving their upper rib cage more than they should.  Factors like poor posture and stress may be the reason that some aren’t encouraging their diaphragm properly.  This can often lead to discomfort in the chest and back muscles. Incorrect breathing may also cause your pelvic floor muscles and lower back muscles to weaken. As well as disrupt the proper movement of your shoulders and spine.

So how do you make sure you are breathing correctly?

Try Diaphragmatic breathing or “belly breathing.”  Diaphragmatic breathing involves engaging your stomach, abdominal muscles, and diaphragm fully when breathing.  Diaphragmatic breathing is great for strengthening your diaphragm, stabilizing the core muscles, promoting relaxation, and reducing oxygen demand.

How to do Diaphragmatic breathing:
1. Lie down on a flat surface.
2. Place one hand on the middle of your upper chest, and the other hand on your stomach (just below your rib cage)
3. Inhale slowly through your nose, drawing the breath down toward the stomach. You should be able to feel your stomach rise, while your chest remains still.
4. Exhale, tightening the abdominal muscles and let your stomach fall down.
5. Practice this 3-4 times per day, 5-10 minutes each time.
Once you become comfortable doing this, you can try sitting or standing.

So how do you make sure you are breathing correctly during exercise?

During exercise, it is important to breathe correctly to help feed our muscles as well as prevent the risk of injury.  During cardio activities, make sure that you are breathing in and out through your nose. For strength training be sure to inhale on relaxation, and exhale on exertion.

Top breathing tips for exercising.
– If you find yourself holding your breath, try counting out the reps.
– When running, if you often get side-stitches, try exhaling on your left footfall rather than the right.
– If you have difficulty catching your breath, avoid bending over with your hands on your knees.  Instead, stand tall with your hands behind your head and take deep breathes.
– Make sure to cool down, take deep slow breaths to help calm your body and help it recover.

“Breath is the bridge which connects life to consciousness, which unites your body to your thoughts. Whenever your mind becomes scattered, use your breath as the means to take hold of your mind again.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh

Learn more about my personal journey as an Endometriosis Coach.

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