Breathing can be a workout?
No matter what you are doing your breath flow can relax, strengthen and even exercise your body.
First lets talk breathing during exercise.
From military .com to ehow.com to exercise experts everyone agrees how you breathe can change the effectiveness of your workout. For most workouts the consensus is always exhale on exertion. Yet each sport has a breath pattern that is well suited for it.
Women’s Health notes
The Activity – Running
The Expert Danny Dreyer, author of ChiRunning: A Revolutionary Approach to Effortless, Injury-free Running
How? With closed lips, breathe in sharply and deeply through the nose. Then purse your lips, as if you’re trying to blow out a candle, and exhale through your mouth. As you run, breathe in for one step and out for two.
Why? “The rapid inhale and slower exhale in this technique fills your lungs from the bottom,” Dreyer says. “Breathing exercises help you take in more air when you inhale and empty your lungs completely when you exhale.” The result? “Your muscles receive more glycogen, which lowers your chances of cramping up.”
The Activity – Yoga
The Expert Elena Brower, owner of Virayoga in New York City
How? Use the Hindu breathing method called ujjayi. First, inhale once with your mouth open and then exhale the same way, making a “ha” sound. Then close your mouth and continue making the same sound while inhaling and exhaling through your nose (you’ll sound like Darth Vader).
Why? “Your breathing is the barometer of all your poses,” Brower says. Gasping for air? Back out of the pose. “Always give preference to deeper breathing over deeper postures.” What’s more, this breathing technique is largely responsible for the yoga buzz that keeps you coming back for more.
The Activity – Strength training
The Expert Tom Holland, exercise physiologist and personal trainer in Darien, CT
How? Exhale through your mouth when you lift weights and inhale through your nose when you lower. Rule of thumb: Take two seconds to raise the weight and three to four seconds to lower it.
Why? Focusing on your breath keeps your brain in the game so you’re more likely to pay attention to overall form, Holland says.
The Activity – Cycling
The Expert Tom Holland
How? “The key to breathing on a bike is to go in through the nose and out through the mouth–and to be as relaxed as you can be,” Holland says. When your intensity increases on climbs or long rides, breathe more forcefully: deeper, quicker inhales through the nose and rapid exhales through the mouth.
Why?“The more relaxed your breathing is, the more relaxed your entire body will be,” Holland says. “Relaxed breathing conserves energy, prevents fatigue, and improves endurance.” And using forceful breaths when you’re beat will get more oxygen to your muscles.
COMPLETE BREATH EXERCISES
1. Sit up straight. Exhale.
2. Inhale and, at the same time, relax the belly muscles. Feel as though the belly is filling with air.
3. After filling the belly, keep inhaling. Fill up the middle of your chest. Feel your chest and rib cage expand.
4. Hold the breath in for a moment, then begin to exhale as slowly as possible.
5. As the air is slowly let out, relax your chest and rib cage. Begin to pull your belly in to force out the remaining breath.
6. Close your eyes, and concentrate on your breathing.
7. Relax your face and mind.
8. Let everything go.
9. Practice about 5 minutes.
Top off your oxygenating work out with a wonderful matcha smoothie!
Green Tea Smoothie
Featuring Matcha GT by Smoothie Essentials.
Green Tea Smoothie Ingredients:
1 scoop Smoothie Essentials MatchaGT
2/3 cup water – almond milk or soy will make a creamier smoothie.
1/2 cup mango, cubed
1 wedge fresh lime juice
2 cups crushed ice