If you are not breathing….you die!

If running is new to you, or if you are getting back into condition, have you found yourself out of breath, are your ribs sore, and do you feel like you are not getting enough air? I have! After reading about breathing techniques, it became clear that there is more than one correct technique and it varies between people. Who would have thought there is a “correct” way to breath?

First, it’s not just for runners! Many athletes can benefit from using a breathing technique. Belly breathing or deep breathing is for everyone. Have you ever watched a baby breath? Their belly moves up and down with their breath. That’s because they are using their diaphragm. As many of us grow we recruit our rib cage more and more. Whether it is because we want to reduce the amount of attention on our bellies or because our sedentary lifestyles allow us to get by with shallow breaths, we are reducing the amount of oxygen we are getting to our bodies. When we exercise and don’t belly breath, this can cause fatigue, sore rib muscles, and delayed onset muscle soreness.

Tips for improving your Breathing:

    1. Begin to belly breathing: lay on you back with your knees bent and feet flat, concentrate on the feeling of your stomach lifting with your inhale and your stomach flattening on your exhale. Progress to thinking of belly breathing a few times throughout your day. It will become habit before you know it!
    2. We have all been told in through your nose and out through your mouth. While exercising, mix it up. You may prefer to breath all through your nose, all through your mouth, or like many, through both. Do what feels best to you!
    3. Everyone can benefit from better posture. Make sure to lift your head and chest skyward, look up. Those breaths will come easier with better posture, no matter which way you prefer to breath.

Have you ever counted your breaths with your foot falls? Whether walking or running, you could be causing more stress on one side of your body if you always exhale as you step down on the same side.

What?

When you inhale your diaphragm is lower and your core is the most stable. When you exhale your diaphragm is raised and a lot of your core muscles are relaxed. The impact when you are running is up to 3x your body weight. Multiply that by the amount of steps you take on the one side. That is a lot of stress! It has been suggested to have a 3:2 ratio. Breath in for 3 beats and out for 2. This will alternate your foot falls that land while you are in exhale. If you are sprinting or running uphill, you might want to change it to a ratio of 2:1. If counting isn’t for you, pay attention to the beats of your foot falls, think about alternating when you exhale and you will decrease that stress in no time.

Up to this point, you may not have given much thought to breathing, as it seems to happen automatically. However, you can train and improve your breathing, which can improve your workouts. Work on these techniques during your workout. Soon you will be breathing better and feeling better….and you will forget how long you have been running! J

Follow the following links if you want more information regarding breathing.

http://www.runnersworld.com/running-tips/

http://www.active.com/running/Articles/Breathing-Tips-for-New-Runners

http://livewell.jillianmichaels.com/running-breathing-techniques-4194.html

http://www.livestrong.com/article/59766-breathing-tips-beginner-runner/

http://www.chirunning.com/blog/entry/10-components-of-good-running-form/

When you, your family, and your friends are healthy….you are happier.  To find out more about the powerful and affordable benefits of the whole health Chiropractic approach, contact Dr. Kimberly Maxwell at (406) 585-7000.  Abundant Health Family Chiropractic in Bozeman is THE go-to resource for the health and wellbeing of your entire family, starting with prenatal care.

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