30th June 2022

Why Breathwork is Important When Working Out

Exercise is extremely important for a healthy lifestyle. There’s no question about that. But did you know that breathing during your workouts is just as important as the exercise itself? Some people may feel distracted by many things and want to work out harder. However, in the process, they forget to breathe correctly during their workouts.

When you work out, it’s best to be more mindful of what you’re doing. Not paying attention can lead to injuries and an ineffective workout. Mindfulness includes paying attention to what you’re doing, but it also means focusing on your breathing at the same time. Breathing exercises not only improve your workout, but they can also improve your mood and mental health.

We’ve put together some techniques that help you maximise your breathing before, during, and after your workouts.

1. Before Your Workout, Set a Clear Intention

One of the best ways to bring mindfulness to your workouts is to have a clear intention before you even exercise. The reason is that having clear intent helps you focus on your workout to avoid injuries and maximise results at the same time.

You may want to consider making sure you breathe during stressful moments in your routine and really focus on the rest periods. How are you breathing? You should be fully present when you breathe, no matter what part of the routine you’re in. Be sure to revisit this intention to be more mindful of your breathing throughout your workout.

Before you start, take a minute to check in with your body using breathwork. Focus on inhaling and see where the breath moves in your body. Do you feel any tense areas? The key is to pay attention to what your body’s telling you and use this in your workout.


2. During Your Workout, Use Breath as a Guide

As you work out, pay attention to your breathing. If you are exhaling and inhaling too short and fast, you may be overexerting. However, when you breathe correctly, this can work to reduce stress, leading to a better workout and an improvement in your mood.


3. After Your Workout, Recover with Breathing

Correct breathing is an effective way to recover after working out. Once you’re finished, check to see if there are areas of the body that feel stressed. If so, use a combination of rhythmic breathwork and stretching to ease these areas of stress.

The aim is to reduce stress and move into a relaxed state. Seal your lips and focus on breathing through your nose. This type of breathing allows your body to relax through the rhythm of repetition.


Why is Breathing So Important for Your Workout? 

The main reason breathing is essential to your workout is that oxygen is fuel for the body. You need oxygen to do anything, including talking, walking, exercising, doing the dishes, and more. Your muscles require oxygen to function correctly.

Breathing allows the lungs to separate oxygen from the air and send it to different muscles of the body. These muscles include the heart, brain, and other muscles that keep your body working. When you exhale, the body reduces carbon dioxide that’s produced by the breathing process.

What’s more, when you work out hard, your body needs more oxygen to keep you going. The more effectively oxygen makes it to your muscles, the better your workout and the harder you can work.

These are the reasons that proper breathing is essential to your workout.


What is Proper Breathing? 

Proper breathing means using your diaphragm, which is a muscle located between the chest and the abdominal cavity. This is the primary muscle that works your breathing when exercising or just sitting in a chair. Many people don’t know how to properly use the diaphragm when breathing. In that case, they usually have shorter, shallower breathing that stays in the chest.

When you breathe this way, not as much oxygen is delivered to the lungs. That causes your heart rate to increase, along with your blood pressure. These can also cause feelings of stress, anxiety and make you feel short of breath.

However, when you breathe from the diaphragm, you’re breathing in a more efficient and effective manner. This type of breathing means you use the diaphragm with each breath most of the time. Breathing with this muscle means breathing slowly through your nose or mouth, filling the abdominal area with air, and then allowing the stomach to collapse as you exhale.

When you exercise, breathing from the diaphragm ensures your core is activated and that you’re breathing in deeply enough to oxygenate your muscles properly. This means you have more energy and your muscles won’t give out with fatigue.

What’s more, diaphragmatic breathing can also help you avoid side stitches or abdominal cramps that can develop. This can happen if you’re using the wrong muscles to breathe when exercising.


Practice Diaphragmatic Breathing

It’s easy to practise diaphragmatic breathing! All you need to do is lie on a flat surface, such as the bed or the floor. Put one hand on your chest and the other on your belly (below the stomach—at the base of your ribs).

As you breathe slowly in and out through your nose, notice how your chest rises or your belly rises. With diaphragmatic breathing, your belly should rise and fall rather than your chest. Keep this in mind as you lay and practice breathing from your diaphragm.


Proper Breathwork is Essential for Exercising

Breathing is essential to your workout. Each breath changes the volume of oxygen in your lungs, changing the position of the spine, ribs, pelvis, and shoulders. When you breathe properly, you can use breathwork to ensure each part of your body is in the right position to make your exercise more effective.


Summing It Up

Breathing correctly, and using diaphragmatic breathing means your workouts are more effective, and you have the energy to stay the course.

Consistency is essential with your breathwork. It may take some practice to be more aware of your breathing, but you’ll be happy with the results and how you feel during and after your workouts.

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