With the recent respiratory pandemic, there is no better time for you to learn how to breathe properly and more efficiently. Most people only fill their upper lobes of their lungs – a very inefficient way to breathe!
So, how are you really supposed to breathe? Here are a few quick tips:
1) Always start with great posture. If your sitting and slouching, your ribs and diaphragm will not move well and your lungs will not expand properly. Therefore, you will not move as much air in or out of your system. If you sit for long periods throughout your day, you are likely limiting your oxygen intake. Try sitting in a slouched position with your legs crossed at your ankles….Take in a deep breath. Can you fill your lungs? Do your shoulders shrug up? Do you feel tension in your upper back? Now, sit with your spine aligned and your feet flat on the floor and take in a deep breath. Do you notice how much easier it is to fully fill your lungs with air?
2) Exhale completely. While many people focus only on inhaling to improve their breathing, most people only exhale 70% of the carbon dioxide from their lungs. The practice of exhaling fully (until you can’t push out any more air) will not only increase your energy and endurance, but you will more efficiently fill your lungs with oxygen n your next inhale.
3) Don’t hold your breath while exercising. This not only limits oxygen intake, but is also compromises their form and ability to stabilize. So what is the best way to breathe when you exercise? The basic rule of thumb is to inhale as you lift a weight, and exhale as you lower the weight. This requires you to slow down the speed of your reps…otherwise you will get short of breath and fatigue very quickly. Controlling your breathing during exercise is a great way to control your form, speed, and endurance.