Breathing Advice for Runners - What You Probably Don"t Know
Not only does it make you sweat bucketfuls, it's one of the best ways to increase your heart rate for improved cardiovascular health.
It expands and contracts your arteries so that the risk of heart attack is significantly reduced.
Running is also beneficial for weight loss since it burns more calories in far less time compared to any other form of exercise.
Because of the demand that a good run places on the muscles and joints, regular runners may find that their bone and muscle health are much younger compared to individuals their age who live sedentary lifestyles.
Another benefit that can be derived from running regularly is improved balance and coordination.
Those who run need to make the muscles and joints work together to maintain an upright position at such a speed.
But the benefits of running are not only confined to the physical.
The so-called "runner's high" is actually the result of endorphins being released into the body as you run.
Most runners (and those who engage in some form of exercise regularly) report feeling less stressed, less anxious and more positive in their day-to-day affairs.
However, in order for you to make the most of your run, you need to follow proper breathing techniques.
When you don't follow proper breathing techniques while running, you end up cutting short your running time and not getting as much from the run as you should.
With practice, these techniques can be learned.
What every runner must keep in mind, first of all, is nose breathing.
Breathing through your nose is the kind of technique that runners should use since the tiny hairs in your nostrils serve to filter dirt and other irritants that you inhale from the air.
When you breathe through your mouth, impurities from the air do not get filtered until they reach the lungs and as a result irritation results.
After learning to breathe through the mouth, you have to learn to inhale and exhale properly.
This is important in order to keep the oxygen and carbon dioxide levels in your body balanced during the run.
Failure to do so would result in less oxygen intake and subsequent fatigue.
When you run breathe in fully for three foot strikes and then exhale for two.
If this is a bit too rigid for you to follow, you can simply "go with the music.
" Choose a song from your iPod (not a slow one, of course) and let the tempo and beat dictate your pace and breathing.
Before you know it, you'll be moving and breathing to your favorite beat.
Every once in a while during your run, get a few deep, really deep, breaths.
As you breathe out, release any tension by shaking your arms and shrugging your shoulders so you loosen your muscles and feel relaxed.
Running is one of the best cardiovascular and bone and muscle strengthening exercises there is.
Make the most of it by practicing efficient breathing techniques as you go.