Proper breathing during exercise depends a bit on what sorts of exercises you plan to do. For example, during cardiovascular exercises it’s always best to take deep, slow breaths. That way, you keep your body supplied with much-needed oxygen.
Cardiovascular exercise is basically any sort of prolonged exercise that challenges your heart and lungs. For example, jogging and bike riding are both cardiovascular exercises. For joggers especially, there’s a temptation to over-exert themselves. That can cause shallow breathing, which leads to reduced efficiency, dizzy spells, fainting and other problems.
Breathing during Resistance/Weight Training
Cardiovascular exercises are one thing, but what about breathing during resistance exercises, like weight training. The muscles used for weight training don’t necessarily need oxygen in the short-term sense. In fact, many weight lifters at the local gym are guilty of holding their breath as they pump that iron every day. So, you might think it’s alright to do that, too.
Different breathing methods
- The Major Flaw: The major flaw in that plan is that you forget you have a body. Weight training is not only about your arm lifting a weight one time. It’s about your entire body. Organs like your brain and your heart need oxygen all the time. So, if you hold your breath, especially during a strenuous activity like weight lifting, you could do a lot of damage in long terms. You can cause yourself to black out, for instance, and that, in turn, could cause you to drop a heavy weight and break something, such as a bone in your foot, if the weight were to drop on it.
- The Counting Method: Each person is a bit different, but there is one good method for breathing while weight training that a lot of people tend to like. Most weight training or resistance exercises are measured in repetitions. So, counting each repetition out loud can help you to breath properly during the exercise. After all, you have to breath in and out, in order to speak.
During a resistance exercise, the best breathing technique is to exhale whenever you exert yourself. So, for example, breath out when lifting a weight or when pushing your body up off the floor during push ups. Inhaling should be done when you release and go back to your starting position.
- Adapting For Comfort: While the expert opinion is that you should breath out when you exert yourself, you don’t have to. If you aren’t comfortable, you’re not going to be efficient anyway. So, if you feel better about breathing in during exertion and out during rest, do so. The important thing, again, is just to make sure that you’re breathing at regular intervals.
Talk to Your Trainer First
Remember, during any exercise routine it’s best to have the advice of your doctor and/or a certified fitness trainer. Talk to them about your specific situation. Learning the proper breathing techniques during exercise is only going to take you so far, especially if you have underlying health issues. So, you need to make sure that you get the right medical advice to help you stay on track.