Thursday, April 10, 2014

Correct Breathing Tips for Runners...

Do you love to run? Are you just planning to start running as part of your exercise regimen? Running is a rewarding, and at the same time, exhausting exercise, but if you know how to do proper breathing, you can certainly reap the optimum benefit of this cardiovascular activity. Run a lot farther, and for much longer, by remembering the following things:

Do deep breathing exercises.
Proper breathing while running is important. Breathing techniques can contribute significantly to improving your speed and resistance. The proper way to breathe is by inhaling a lot of oxygen without affecting your running efficiency. Because of this, you have a greater advantage among other runners who struggle to breathe properly.

Train your lungs.
A lot of runners make the mistake of thinking that training their legs for running is enough. Don’t forget the importance of training your lungs as well, when preparing for a marathon, a triathlon, or even your early morning jogs.

Did you know that the more chest heaves you do, the more you struggle to breathe. Your lungs go into overdrive when you reach the end of a speed interval. Your breath becomes shallow and rapid, as your heart starts pumping more blood and you pull in more air. You end up being exhausted, bending over to gasp for air.

According to Mindy Solkin, the owner and head coach of The Running Center in New York City, "A strong respiratory system can improve your running. It's a simple equation: Better breathing equals more oxygen for your muscles, and that equals more endurance."

There are a lot of breathing exercises you can try to boost your lung power.

Avoid leg sprain.
Have you experienced leg sprain while running? Did you know that right breathing can also prevent leg fatigue? Taking deeper breaths gives your body more oxygen, which it feeds to your muscles, including your leg muscles. Take slow and deep breaths as you run to enhance the process.
Breathe through your diaphragm.

Most runners are used to breathing using their chest rather than their belly. Whenever you breathe in, your belly should fill up like a balloon, and then deflate when you breathe out. Chest breathing can be a hard habit to break. You can try breathing through the mouth so you can take in more oxygen and be able to release more carbon dioxide.  

Breathing in patterns.
When we do exercises, we count 1 to 8 or up to 16, then repeat them in sets. The same can be applied to breathing exercises. This method is called rhythmic breathing and is an effective way to avoid injury. To start breathing in patterns:
- Start with a 2-2 pattern: Breathe in while stepping left then right
- Breathe out while stepping left to right
- Advance to a 3-3 pattern: (Breathe in, step left, right, left; breathe out, step right, left, right), and then a 4-4 pattern.

Do cross-training exercises.
You may also try doing cross-training exercises to reduce huffing and puffing. Exercises like Pilates or yoga can also help you train your lungs and perfect your breathing techniques.

The breathing exercises mentioned above will not only keep you away from any injury—whether it may be leg sprain, muscle fatigue, and more—but also help you run or jog without feeling too strained.

Running is a great activity to engage in, and proper breathing can do a lot to improve your running experience. You may be exposed to some injuries, as with any other exercise activity, and in such cases, a medical insurance can come in handy. 

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*disclaimer: The above article is contributed by Cristina Beltran a blogger and writer from

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