Did you know, that an average person breathes approximately 13 pints of air every minute? Breathing – a term that is synonymous to life, isn’t it? A sign of a baby being born, and the absence of which, marks the end of a life. While every living creature breathes, it is quite visible and talked about in the human race. While breathing is so vital for each one of us, it is so much in our blood, that it is something we all pay least attention too.
A very famous Sanskrit poet once quoted, for breath is life, and if you breathe well you will live long on Earth.” Breathe well? Confused about these two words coming together? Well, that’s what our blog is all about today – to be able to give you the best breathing tips while you have your focus on staying fit.
Importance of breathing right while running
I am sure, you must have heard all Yoga and meditation experts focusing their majority time and energy on breathing. But what about breathing while running? Here, we bring to you some real motivation for breathing right while you are on your running spree –
- It helps you to exhale stress
This one tops the chart! When you practice the right running breathing techniques, you will be amazed to observe that when you exhale the unused air from inside your body, you will also release the stress molecules from your body. It may not show up as an immediate effect on your mind, but after few days, you will see that when you return from a good run, you feel less stressed out.
- Let your lungs do their job perfectly
How do you know if your lungs are able to do their job perfectly? It is when your lungs diaphragm is able to expand and collapse perfectly in the right sync when you breathe in and out. That is why, it is vital for you to follow the right breathing techniques during running, so that your lungs can function in sync.
- It helps your body to detox from top to bottom
When air is circulated properly to your entire body, it helps the body cells to flush away toxins in a much better way. So, when you are following the right running breathing techniques, your body is able to breathe better and thus detox in the right manner.
- Your bellies benefit too
Your stomach expands and contracts along with your lungs while breathing. This helps to burn food and fat in the most appropriate manner and Taylor swift having the right breathing techniques during running, helps your belly to benefit from it as well.
- Lastly, run longer by breathing right
Last but not the least, having the perfect running breathing techniques, you will be able to run longer and faster without actually getting tired.
Breathing techniques during running
Breathing techniques help you to establish a pace for your breathing while running. Every technique tells you to have your own pace of breathing in the starting. But, eventually when you get used to it, you will see that the pace of breathing has eventually increased.
If you have just started your journey of running, you may find yourself puffing very often than those who have been running for a quite a while now. This is nothing to worry about. Just work on some of your running breathing techniques and you will be able to see a visible change in your running patterns. While you have just started, here are the most common breathing techniques during running that you can make use of –
- Rhythmic Breathing:- Like the name suggests, this type of breathing asks you to breathe in a set pattern or rhythm. This is the best and most recommended technique of breathing to be followed. It helps you concentrate better on your breathing style. This breathing technique has been explained in detailed below
- Deep Breathing:- This is the most simple out of all the running breathing techniques. Just inhale as much as you can in one go, and then exhale it slowly, one at a time. The trick here is to ensure that you are inhaling and exhaling, by the nose and not by chest or through your mouth. The benefit of this type of breathing is that it helps your body to have more supply of oxygen to your lungs and legs, thus making you feel less fatigue
- Inhaling and Exhaling:- This breathing techniques during running lays more emphasis on the belly. Expand your belly when you inhale and then contract it slowly while you exhale. This helps you to strengthen your diaphragm as well
Nose breathing V/S mouth breathing
In a simple sentence: While running, you MUST always breathe through your mouth. If your nose can join in too, nothing like it. This is because, when you are running, all your body parts are involved in it actively. Thus, it is important that you feed all the body parts adequately with oxygen, to keep them up and running while your body movement is so fast. Mouth breathing is the most effective way to be able to achieve this.
Expert Advice: While you are having a toss of breathing between your nose and mouth, you CANNOT do a chest breathing. Why?
When you breathe through your chest, firstly the air cannot be filtered, because that is the job of your lungs! Through chest breathing, the air is not reaching the lungs first and hence this whole cycle of passing out unfiltered air, which is bad for your body.
Also, when you chest breathe, it makes your body weak as your lungs are not able to perform their job. Chest breathing is considered to be shallow breathing as it is not capable enough of brining in the right amount of oxygen to the body.
Rhythmic Breathing Pattern
It may be quite a daunting task for you to get used to the right breathing pattern in the first go. Quite natural! However, to help you establish a pattern, here is a quick guide of how you can do it
Note: This pattern can be practiced even when you are not running
- Step 1: Lie down flat on your back
Check: When you lie down flat, ensure that your chest and shoulders are still. Also, your upper body and lower body have to be in the same line
- Step 2: Now, inhale from your nose. When you do this, focusing on raising your belly as much as you can by inhaling through nose
- Step 3: Hold the breath for not more than 30 seconds and then exhale. While you are exhaling, lower your belly
Practice this whenever you can. Once you are used to this pattern of breathing, then focus on establishing this as a breathing pattern while running. This rhythmic breathing is going to help you run better.
Follow the 2:2 Pattern
This is one of the most commonly followed pattern to achieve rhythmic breathing. The 2:2 pattern is where you inhale for two foot strikes and exhale for the next two foot strikes. The single point of all the rhythmic breathing is to exhale on alternate foot strikes as you keep running. Do not exhale on the same feet, as may not fetch the desired results of breathing right.
Move a mile ahead with rhythmic breathing
Once you get used to this pattern, you can move a mile ahead and follow the longer inhale pattern of rhythmic breathing. This is the advanced version of the 2:2 pattern. In the longer inhale pattern, you will follow a 3:2 pattern, where you will inhale for three foot strikes and then exhale for the next 2 foot strikes. You can practice this on the floor as well. Here is the guide to do that –
- Step 1: Lie flat on your back with your shoulders and chest on the same lines.
- Step 2: Rest your hands on your belly and then inhale by bloating your belly. You should be breathing with your nose and mouth both.
The trick here is to count while you inhale and exhale. Inhale till the count of three, hold on for few seconds and then exhale slowly till the count of two.
Start with one thing at a time. It would not be a great start for you to get used to belly breathing at once. You may not be able to achieve the 3:2 pattern of rhythmic breathing in the first 10 days of running too. That’s okay! It is always suggested that you go one mile at a time. Following the right breathing techniques during running is a slow but effective process. So, practice it every day, and see how the outcomes are going to be so enthralling that you are just going to love running and the effects of it.
Expert Advice: Never over stress your body. If you are panting for breathe, take a pause and let your body relax for few seconds and then continue