Running Breathing Exercises

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How to breathe while running

When it comes to running, good breathing technique is not a natural process but a deliberate one. Even if you’ve been running for years, this article will help you understand how to breathe correctly while out on the run. When I started running, I faced several challenges as I could not breathe and run properly. I will share essential techniques to help you breathe while running. 

Although we don’t have to concentrate on breathing while running, a productive breathing pattern can help boost endurance, reduce the likelihood of accidents, and help break through a training plateau. Here are four breathing methods I believe you can utilize when running.

Breathing methods to improve breathing

Box breathing

This type of breathing practice, known as square or four-square breathing, can help relax the mind and body in times of stress. Inhale deeply into the belly, hold the breath for at least four counts at the height of the inhalation, and then exhale while holding the breath for four counts at the bottom of the expiration.

Rhythmic breathing

Runners’ bodies absorb a lot of stress when their exhalations and foot strikes coincide. While jogging, you may distribute this stress more equally over your body if you use a rhythmic breath. While walking, inhale and exhale simultaneously so that your exhales change from right to left foot strikes. 

Athletes’ normal breathing rhythm is to take two and two breaths out for each footstrike. Your exhalations will, therefore, always come from one side of your body, resulting in an unequal amount of effort and, therefore, an increased chance of injury. Each exhales will correspond with a right or left foot strike if you breathe rhythmically in an irregular ratio.

Running Breathing Techniques
Source: Unsplash.com / Quino Al

Mouth breathing

Mouth breathing entails nothing more than breathing in and out solely through the mouth. Stress can be increased while running if you breathe through your mouth, as this can give the impression that you’re panicking. 

Running at a high level of intensity, on the other hand, may benefit significantly from mouth breathing. While running up a steep slope, many people prefer to inhale via their mouth rather than their lungs.

Diaphragmatic breathing

You can use the diaphragm (a prominent respiratory muscle between the bottom of the ribs and intercostal muscles) for breathing more efficiently by exercising it during diaphragmatic breathing.

During this form of breathing, the diaphragm relaxes and moves down, allowing the lungs to expand and absorb additional air. Increased lung capacity and flexibility can aid in slowing your pulse rate during heavy exercise by using this deep-belly breathing technique.

Tips for breathing properly while running 

Asthma, weather, fitness level, and exercise intensity can affect how you breathe when running. An outline of how to perform efficient breathing while running is provided here in case you’re a new runner or want to learn how to get more oxygen during exercising.

Running Breathing Tips
Source: Unsplash.com / Nigel Msipa

Warm your lungs

Your heart and blood will be beating, and your muscles will be loosening up, making it simpler to expand your diaphragm and lungs during a vigorous warm-up. Before you run, do some diaphragm-expanding exercises to improve the efficiency of your belly breathing.

Breathe through your mouth and nose

If you exercise while breathing through your nose or mouth, your lung capacity may not be fully utilized, resulting in lower oxygen consumption levels. Breathing in via your mouth and nose can assist you in getting the most oxygen out of your system. As you run, alternately inhale and exhale in a rhythmic pattern through your nose and mouth. Using your mouth, immediately exhale carbon dioxide that has built up in your lungs.

Keep your running form in place.

The ability to breathe more easily while running can be improved by good posture and perfect running form, both of which help improve core strength and alleviate core tightness. Face forward while maintaining a neutral neck and head position. 

You should keep your chin tucked in as if cradling an egg beneath your chin throughout the exercise. Keeping your shoulders back and a tiny forward bend in your posture is essential. Maintain a level and relaxed posture at all times.

Practice belly breathing

However, deep breathing is a great way to speed things up, even if this is the case. To get the most out of your rigorous workout, you should avoid chest breathing, which results in shallower breaths that starve your muscle of oxygen. Instead, work on strengthening your diaphragm and learning to breathe from the center of your chest. 

Lay on the ground with one arm on your chest and the other on your belly to practice belly breathing. As your lungs fill with air, exhale by pushing your belly out. Your diaphragm should be pushed down to keep your chest from rising. It’s possible to slowly exhale via your mouth for a few minutes at a time. After getting used to this sensation, try it out on your next run to see how it affects your performance.

Do you need to visit a doctor?

If you’re new to fitness, have medical issues, or use medications, visit your physician before starting any new exercise program. You should exercise caution if you have a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which comprises emphysema and chronic bronchitis.

You should seek medical attention if you find breathing very hard or feel shortness of breath, choking, or gasping while jogging. Feeling dizzy, weak, or disoriented are other symptoms that should be taken seriously and examined by a doctor. Never take your health lightly, as it can lead to death.

Conclusion

You may improve your running breathing patterns with the correct equipment. These simple tactics will help you breathe and run to your fullest capacity. Breathe easily and talk while running at a pace that is comfortable for you.

Practice paying attention to your breath throughout the day, not just when you’re running. Consider how your breath reacts to different situations or activities, then remind yourself to breathe smoothly. I hope you can breathe better as you run daily to achieve your goal.

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