Running is a physical activity that brings countless benefits to human health. After all, when it becomes a habit, running helps from weight loss and cardiac functioning to increased disposition and good mood.
However, one of the most common complaints among beginners of this exercise is the difficulty in practicing proper breathing techniques - an issue that causes discomfort and hinders your performance. As we run, oxygen is taken up by the lungs and converted into energy, which allows us to have a greater ability to keep running.
That's why it's essential to breathing properly. Thus, it is possible to practice the activity for longer and increase its intensity. When you start running without being properly prepared, you may feel that nagging pain in the side of your belly that makes you want to give up exercising. Have you ever had this problem? Learn right now what the best breathing techniques are and how they can benefit your training!
What Are the Ideal Breathing Techniques?
1. Get in the habit of breathing better through your mouth
In fact, there is no single correct pattern for how to breathe while running. It's the experience that will help you develop the breathing that best suits your running pace. Surely, you've heard that it's not recommended to breathe through your mouth while running, right? However, contrary to what many people think, mouth breathing allows the athlete to breathe in more oxygen. With this, your body has access to a greater amount of air, which allows you to continue exercising for longer.
If you're just starting to run, it's worth breathing through your mouth until your body gets used to the exercise. The secret is to draw in the air deeply and release it slowly. At first, there may be some difficulty, but with continuous repetition, it becomes habitual.
2. Keep your breathing steady and comfortable
In the anxiety to improve their health soon and reap the benefits of physical activity as soon as possible, there are those who exaggerate and print a very intense rhythm even without being prepared for it. Faced with this situation, the tendency is for you to tire quickly and give up the race before you even finish your route. The ideal is to try to run at a speed that allows you to maintain a constant and comfortable breathing rhythm.
A good tip is to perform the conversation test to see if your steps are appropriate. Here's how it works: speak long, full sentences. If you feel short of breath, the rhythm is inappropriate. But if you can speak normally, it's because you're at the right intensity. It is recommended to synchronize your steps with the way you breathe.
3. Strengthen the muscles of the respiratory system
For pulmonary breathing to take place, two movements must be performed: expiration and inspiration. Together, they are called respiratory movements, and they are only viable due to the joint action of the diaphragm, the intercostals muscles, and the rib cage. Working on strengthening these muscles helps develop more efficient and steady breathing not only at rest but also while running.
First, train deep inspiration: place your hands exactly at the base of the ribs and inhale deeply, causing the lower ribs and abdomen to expand. Then lie on your back, keeping your knees and feet flat on the floor. Then, project the lower back upwards so that it arches. Gradually straighten it until it touches the floor. Done that, find a position that is neutral between these two. Start taking three deep breaths, expanding your lower ribs and abdomen.
Finally, ''rest'' by taking three normal breaths. Repeat the technique, but this time holds the air for two seconds before exhaling. It is recommended to do this strengthening once a day, preferably before running. This boosts your breathing for the race, generating more breath.
4. Use your abs more
Runners who train regularly usually make use of the abdominal region, not the chest, so that the inspired oxygen is better used. To get used to this type of breathing, lie down on a flat surface, inhale until your belly swells, and exhale until it deflates.
The process must be repeated several times. When running, apply the technique while moving. Start with a light workout to get your body familiarized with breathing and build up the exercise as you feel comfortable.
5. Breathe short and shallow
When it comes to relaxing and focusing, most breathing tips teach you how to breathe slowly and deeply. However, during intense physical activity, it is not possible to inhale and exhale deeply and for a long time. Therefore, in this situation, one can breathe in a short and shallow way. Extend your breathing on an uphill course or at other times that require more effort.
What Are the Benefits of Good Breathing?
Proper breathing is extremely beneficial and makes all the difference in running practice, as the respiratory system works in association with the cardiac system. As the pace of exercise intensifies, the body's need to absorb more oxygen increases, so that fatigue does not end up interrupting the training.
In addition, the variation of the pace of the race and, consequently, of your breathing, makes your body continue to need more oxygen even hours after performing the activity. This condition makes your metabolism accelerated for longer, helping to burn fat. So you can lose weight more easily.
Our brain needs oxygen to function. Therefore, breathing correctly increases the irrigation of blood vessels, keeping this organ in its normal and full functioning, which preserves the cognitive region, improving your creativity and other intellectual activities, in addition to fighting stress, depression, and insomnia. . With breathing techniques, you enhance your training, avoid fatigue and achieve a healthier life.
So, enough postponing your change of habits, separate your running shoes and put your foot on the asphalt!