9 tips for breathing well while running

Your breath is of the utmost importance, especially when running, which can cause you to feel short of breath. To optimize your performance, it is essential that you listen to your breathing and make the appropriate improvements.

This allows you to gain in ease and efficiency in order to reach your full potential. At first, new approaches may feel uncomfortable or unnatural. Over time, you’ll get used to these adjustments and be able to optimize your breathing to make your runs more enjoyable. Try these simple and effective breathing techniques to improve your running performance. Instead of trying to fit all of these tips into your running routine at once, start slow. Learn one technique at a time and give yourself at least a week to master it before trying another new approach.

Why does it seem difficult to breathe while running?

Strenuous activities like running make your muscles and respiratory system work harder than normal. You need more oxygen and need to eliminate carbon dioxide buildups, which can make it harder to breathe. The quality of your breathing can be an indicator of your fitness level or how your body responds to the pace and intensity of your run. If you work too hard or push yourself beyond your capacity, you may experience shortness of breath, wheezing, or tightness in your chest.

Nose or mouth?

If you are going to run at a slower pace, you can use nose breathing. You can also choose to inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth. However, if you’re having trouble catching your breath or holding a conversation, it’s easier to just breathe through your mouth. During races or high intensity sprints, it is recommended to breathe through the mouth as it is more efficient. Inhaling and exhaling through your mouth allows more oxygen to enter your body and fuel your muscles. Additionally, breathing through your mouth helps relieve tension and tightness in your jaw, which can help relax your face and body.

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Use these simple and effective strategies to be able to breathe easier and more efficiently while running. When trying a new technique, start slowly to get familiar with it before picking up the pace.

1. Diaphragmatic breathing

Deep abdominal breathing strengthens the muscles that support breathing and allows you to take in more air. Not only will you be able to use oxygen more efficiently, but you’ll be less likely to experience side stitches. Diaphragmatic breathing is especially important if you have shallow breathing. Breathing in the chest can also cause tension in the shoulders. You will therefore find that your body is naturally more relaxed when you breathe through your belly. You can also use diaphragmatic breathing in your daily life.

How to practice it?

1 Learn to breathe through your stomach while lying on your back.
2 Inhale through your nose, filling your belly with air.
3 As your belly expands, push your diaphragm down and out.
4 Lengthen your exhales so that they are longer than your inhales.

Do a few 5-minute sessions over a period of a few days. Slow down your pace when you first incorporate it into your runs. Once you get the hang of it, you can pick up the pace.

2. Breathing exercises

Take the time to focus only on your breathing. This helps improve lung function and capacity while developing awareness of the breath.
Find out which exercises are best for you. Create your own routine using one or more of the following breathing techniques:

– alternate nostril breathing, called nadi shodhana
– equal breathing
– breathing with stretching of the ribs
– numbered breathing
– pursed-lip breathing

3. Focus on form

To optimize your breathing and feel comfortable while running, position your body to promote healthy and efficient breathing. Maintain good posture and keep your head in line with your spine, making sure it doesn’t fall down or forward. Relax your shoulders by pulling them away from your ears. Avoid hunching or slouching forward.

4. Breathe rhythmically

Breathing rhythmically allows you to take in more oxygen and put less strain on your body. Each time your foot hits the ground, the force of the impact can stress your body. To avoid muscle imbalances, alternate your exhalations between your right foot and your left foot. Rhythmic breathing allows you to put less pressure on your diaphragm and balance the stress of impact between the two sides of your body. Follow a 3:2 pattern that allows you to alternate which foot receives the impact as you exhale. Inhale for three kicks and exhale for two. If you are running at a faster pace, you can use a 2:1 pattern. If keeping a running pace seems too complicated, just pay attention to your breathing to get an idea of ​​what a comfortable pace is.

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5. Breathe in some fresh air

It will be much easier to breathe if you inhale clean air. If you plan to run outdoors in an urban area with polluted air, choose the time of day when traffic is lowest. Avoid the busiest roads and choose less congested streets.

Advice if you have asthma

It’s important to stay active if you have asthma, even if exercise seems to trigger or worsen symptoms. By taking the right approach, you can improve your lung function and manage your symptoms. Take a look at some breathing tips for runners with asthma.

6. The good weather wins

Certain types of weather can trigger asthma symptoms. On these days you can choose to run indoors. Cold air holds less moisture, which makes it less pleasant to breathe and can trigger symptoms. If you are running in cold weather, cover your mouth and nose with a scarf to moisten and warm the air you inhale. Other triggers are weather changes, hot days and thunderstorms.

7. Start and end your run gently

Warming up is especially important if you have asthma because you need to give your lungs time to warm up. Slowly increase the intensity to give your lungs a chance to start working. Once you’re almost done running, slow down so your lungs have a chance to gradually cool down.

8. Avoid pollen

Check pollen counts before you go out for a run, and plan to run when pollen counts are lowest, which is usually in the morning or after a rain. If you can’t avoid it, consider wearing a pollen mask. After your run, take a shower and wash your training clothes.

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9. Breathing Techniques

There are several breathing exercises recommended for people with asthma. These exercises can improve your breathing habits, which is beneficial for your runs.
You can try some of these techniques to see which helps you manage your symptoms and gives you the most benefit.
You can train:
– nasal breathing
– the Papworth method
– Buteyko breathing
– deep yogic breathing.

When to consult a doctor

Consult your doctor before beginning any new exercise program, especially if you are new to fitness, have any medical conditions, or are taking medication. Take care if you have lung problems such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis.
See a doctor if you have trouble breathing or if you are short of breath, short of breath, or wheezing while running. Other symptoms that warrant medical attention are dizziness, fainting, and disorientation.

With the right tools, you can improve your breathing habits while you run. These simple techniques can help you breathe and run at your peak. Try to run at a pace that allows you to breathe easily and have a normal conversation without having difficulty breathing. Get into the habit of focusing on your breathing, not only while running, but also at different times of the day. Remember to maintain regular breathing and pay attention to any variations and how your breathing responds to certain situations or activities. Adopt healthy habits to lose weight and keep it off. Your program is personalized according to your objectives and your physical condition. Just do a quick assessment and get started today.

* Presse Santé strives to transmit medical knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE can the information given replace medical advice.

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