Written by: Kayte Corrigan

Breathing is obviously important, although most of the time we don’t know we are doing it. Probably the only time we notice it is when we are out of it, or can’t catch it. When we exercise, more so than any other time during the day, we concentrate on our breath (well… maybe while brushing our teeth too). Sometimes in a workout we find ourselves holding our breath, or quick short bursts without even realizing it. We know it’s not good, but why is breathing especially important when exercising?

For our muscles, oxygen is the main source of fuel on the delivery truck of our blood. When muscles are working hard, growing stronger and harder, they can take oxygen out of the blood three times as well as resting muscles. And they need this oxygen to continue working.

Relaxing your jaw and face will help you breathe normally when exercising without much thought to it. It’s best to think of exhaling on the exertion, or when flexing the spine. Inhaling on the return, or in spinal extension. If you have asthma, severe allergies, or other respiratory issues take careful consideration and precaution when choosing your exercise. Listen to your body and stop if you feel dizzy or experience severe shortness of breath.

The next time you workout, focus the breath evenly. It’s the breather your muscles will thank you for later.