The Art of Breathing
Hello and welcome to the first post on this blog.
Thank you for taking the time to read this, I truly hope that this will make a difference in your training and in your life in general.
Throughout this blog I will try to tell you things that I’ve learnt through things that happened to me or that I am going through or that happened to friends or family of mine. It will be largely be unedited, raw and just my honest opinion. So, to kick this one off I want to talk about breathing.
Breathing in training is something that makes a very very big difference. People don’t always realize how important how you breathe is. You always hear the people saying breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth and for a long time I thought that’s just how you should breathe because it’s healthier or because you get more oxygen or whatever. Having taken some time testing different breathing methods I have come to realize that it does not really matter whether you breathe through your nose or whether you breathe through your mouth. What matters is how you breathe. What do I mean by that? I mean how long does it take you to breathe, how deep do you breathe, and what does your body do when you breathe?
These things matter because how long you breathe determines how much time your lungs have to actually take up the oxygen that you just inhaled, how deep you breathe and breathe out determines how much oxygen you actually have in your lungs that are available to be taken up and what your body does when you breathe determines how your other organs and muscles react to breathing.
Let’s talk about how long you breath. People say breathe through your nose because this generally forces you to breathe slower to take longer breaths that is mostly why breathing through your nose helps you perform better. because breathing slower allows your body to take out the oxygen. Allows your lungs to take up the oxygen and put it into your bloodstream. The way the lungs work is as follows. you breathe in oxygen goes into your lungs, as the breath or oxygen is in your lungs your body absorbs that oxygen and puts it into your bloodstream, that goes through your body into muscles and organs that need your oxygen, carbon dioxide is then taken from these and moved back to your lungs where it is put into your lungs and you breathe that out. The slower you breathe in the more time your lungs have oxygen to actually take up or absorb this oxygen. Therefore the more oxygen your muscles and your organs have to use. another thing that happens when you breathe in slow is you tend to breathe out a lot more violently. This allows you to force out all of the carbon dioxide that is in your lungs. Which is something that needs to happen to create space for more oxygen to be taken up. If you do not exhale all of the carbon dioxide, your lungs are completely empty and therefore some of the space to take up oxygen is lost, which then obviously means that you don’t get as much oxygen to your muscles and your organs as they would want. I hope this makes sense to you.
So in the last paragraph we basically covered how you breathe and how deep you breathe in and out. The next topic or logical thing to talk about is what does your body do when you breathe. We ask this because we need to know whether you breathe into your chest or into your belly, into your diaphragm. this is important for a number of reasons. If you breathe into your chest, which you’re not really supposed to do, you force muscles that aren’t meant to be used during breathing to work. For example you tend to use some of your neck and trap and upper back muscles to lift your chest cavity up to create space for your lungs to expand into your chest. this is not how you man beings are meant to breathe. If you look at an infant look at how much he’s or her belly is moving when breathing. That is how you and being is meant to breathe. Into your belly, into your diaphragm. The reason we as adults don’t breathe like that anymore is that somewhere along the line it became more important to have a flat stomach then breathing correctly. We became obsessed with looking better than performing better, we became obsessed with having that six pack rather than being able to lift something heavy off the floor. The reason why breathing into your diaphragm has an effect on what you can lift off the floor is that breathing into your diaphragm forces your core muscles to work in unison. It forces your core to form a stable platform that supports your spine.
Now the we have a rough idea of how we should be breathing or rather how we should not be breathing, how do we go about changing that. well it’s really simple to be honest. All you have to do is focus on your breathing when you remember about it. If you think about breathing in the middle of a workout because you hear yourself breathing very loudly or very violently, try to force yourself to rather than breathing fast to get as much oxygen in breath slow and deep. try to count your breaths. Try to find a rhythm with what you are doing at that moment.
When you have the time, lie down somewhere whether it’s in the morning when you wake up for a couple of minutes or at night before you go to bed for a couple of minutes, put your hand on your belly and force yourself to breathe into your belly. Force yourself to to lift your hand with your belly as you breathe in. if you do these things for a couple of days or weeks you will start noticing that it becomes more natural, you will start noticing that you perform better or that you recover faster during or after a workout. If working out is not a priority to you but you read this anyway don’t worry, it’s not all about working out. this will also help you in your general life this will help you control your emotions, calm your heart down, handle stressful situations better and even possibly control your body temperature when it’s cold when it’s warm. See Wim Hof’s information on this topic if you would like to know more. Find him on Instagram @iceman_hof .
I hope you got something out of this and I hope you learnt something if you would like to know more or if you would like to contact me find me on Instagram @leonbfit . Or if you’re up for it feel free to comment, share, like, or whatever you can do on this thing. Thank you.