How Breathwork Training Can Impact Your Workouts

Breathwork, or proper breathing techniques, can help you achieve a sense of peace and relaxation. Have you ever done yoga? Breathing is a huge part of hosing, allowing your body to rest. Sometimes you want to get under a heavy bar or take your workout into a higher gear.

What Is Breathwork?

The term Breathwork is associated with structured breathing exercises or techniques. Some people practice breathwork to improve their physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. You intentionally consciously alter your breathing pattern when you’re doing good breathwork.

Several different types of breathwork focus on other goals. While most of these have the same basic foundations, we will concentrate on the breathwork that’s best during your workout.

When To Use and How Much Breathwork Training?

Since our bodies are naturally programmed to breathe automatically, it isn’t something you might think there is training for. However, breathing can be adjusted based on various conditions and for a specific need. With time and practice, you can regulate your respiratory process to fit your activity level to fit the need of the workout or activity.

The more you exercise, the more oxygen your body needs. The better control you have over your breathing, the better you can deliver oxygen to your muscles, and the more challenging and more efficiently you can work out. This means that you can achieve more significant results by working harder and faster.

Breathwork training is something to practice every time you work out. Learning how to breathe while working out and exercising properly should be a priority for any exerciser. During every exercise session, thinking about your breathing mentally can help improve your daily life. There are many different types of breathwork, all with the same goal: to move energy through the body. The techniques usually take about 20 minutes to an hour and can be quite rhythmic.

Some of the sensations described by those practicing breathwork include relaxation, calmness, and concentration. Along with:

  • Tingling sensations throughout the body
  • Increased awareness
  • An increase in their mind-body connection
  • Feelings of clarity
  • Emotional purging

Tips for Using Breathwork In Your Daily Life

Beginning with small exercises can help ease you into incorporating breathwork into your daily routine. Here are a few examples of how you can ease your way into incorporating breathwork into your daily activity regimen:

Do your breathwork first thing in the morning or right before bed.

Next, try doing your breathwork in the middle of the day. This can also help as an energy boost for the rest of the day.

Finally, practice 20 to 45 minutes of breathwork daily.

exhausted female athlete resting during cross training gym there is man working out background blog

Stay Safe

Breathwork can be very beneficial for some people, but it isn’t always appropriate for every situation. For example, here are a few things to consider before engaging in breathwork of any sort:

Never do breathwork while driving or operating heavy machinery.

If you’re engaged in an activity that requires close attention to your environment, that is not the time to engage in breathwork.

Do not do breathwork while submerged in water.

Benefits of Breathwork

Different breathwork techniques can be used to help address various issues. There are a variety of breathwork techniques that can be tailored to meet the needs of individual people. Here’s a quick look at some of the results you may expect from slow and fast breathing techniques:

Slow Breathing

  • Relaxed feeling
  • Lower levels of cortisol
  • Immediate stress reduction 

Examples of slow breathing are box breath, 4-7-8 breathing, belly breathing, and alternate nostrils breathing.

Fast Breathing

  • It increases adrenaline and helps you feel alert
  • Short-term increase in cortisol and improving your stress response
  • Stimulated your immune response
  • Lowers inflammation

Examples of fast breathing techniques are holotropic breathwork, the breath of fire, and Wim Hof Breathing.

Breathwork and Heart Health

Deep breathing can have a variety of health benefits, including reducing blood pressure and lowering cortisol levels. In addition, breathwork practices can have even more impressive effects on the body and have some advantages that positively impact the heart.

  • Sustained rapid breathing helps move carbon dioxide out of the blood, thus reducing the blood’s acidic levels. In addition, this practice can help shift blood pH to more alkaline.
  • Consistent breathwork exercises the diaphragm muscles responsible for 80% of your breathing.
  • The autonomic nervous system can release more epinephrine with sustained breathwork. This surge in epinephrine may cause an increase in anti-inflammatory activity.
  • Deep breathing exercises can improve blood circulation and lower blood pressure.
  • Mindful breathing helps mood and reduces stress.

Workouts and Breathwork

When you’re working out, your focus is probably on the exercises. Are you using a good form? How’s the speed of your workout and reps? Can you push yourself to complete the set? These are essential and valid parts of an exercise, but you may be missing a part of the equation: proper breathing.

When you focus on your breathing while training, you’ll exert more control over your body, remain alert, and engage all your target muscles.

How to Practice Breathwork

There are many different approaches to breathwork, and it can be helpful to try out two or three techniques before settling on one that is best for you.  A few of the more popular techniques are detailed here:

Box breathing: Also known as square breathing. This technique increases performance and concentration when deep, slow breaths are needed. Some benefits are heightened performance and concentration while reducing stress.

Pursed lip breathing: Great for when you’re focused or relaxed. Inhale through your nose for two seconds, purse your lips, and breath out slowly, then repeat. Purse lip breathing improves lung mechanics.

Military 3:2 ratio breathing: If you’re a runner, you’ll want to oxygenate your muscles and clear the carbon dioxide in your body. To do this, perform full inhales and full exhales at a 3:2 inhale-to exhale ratio. Use your footfalls to set your rhythm. Inhale on the left, right, left footfalls. Then exhale on the right and left footfalls. It takes a little practice but soon becomes natural.

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