Seriously, Take a Deep Breath: It’ll Make Your Workout Easier

Photo: Cavan Images
If you opt for a high-impact or cardio classes, you'll find yourself breathless at least once during your workout. It's a guarantee. Figuring out how to regulate your breathing while running is tough. But you definitely have the power to keep your breathing pattern from completely sabotaging your endeavors, according to Aaptiv running coach and CrossFit trainer Meghan Takacs.

Instead of stopping to take a (literal) breather, the coach recommends forcing yourself to inhale and exhale deeply without breaking stride. "Taking that deep breath mid tempo run can deliver more oxygen to your body and therefore help you run more efficiently," she says. "The key to preventing lung and leg fatigue is to breathe deeply. That will help expand your diaphragm."

If you're still not sure whether you should breathe through your nose or mouth, Takacs recommends the latter. Inhaling and exhaling through your mouth allows you to take in more oxygen (the good stuff!). "It also relaxes the muscles in your face, which helps you relax and breathe more efficiently," she says.

Whether you're putting your endurance to the test with extra mileage or a brutal HIIT sequence, Takacs explains that regulating your breathing at the start of the workout will help you learn to train smarter. "I always tell my listeners to sync their breathing pattern with their lower body cadence," she says. "When you body gets into a flow, it's easier to maintain pace and form. Keeping your breathing central and steady—belly breathing—helps to avoid shallow breaths."

If you're a runner, you can match your breathing patterns with your steps. If you're doing burpees, exhale at the parts of the move that require the most exertion (during the push-up, for example, breath out as you press into the floor).

"I would add that cross training helps to develop lung capacity, as well as hill running," Takacs says. "Any workout that increases your VO2 max, which is the amount of oxygen your lungs can hold, will make it easier to maintain a steady breathing pattern when running."

Your new motto goes like this, workout warrior: Inhale, exhale, and keep your body guessing.

Breathing right can help you log a good night's sleep, too. Just try this breath work or nadi suddhi

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