Forgetting to Breathe? 

A picture of my resting heart rate is to the left.

People often overlook the importance of breathing. I know I know, that statement is incredibly bizarre. It seems pretty crazy doesn’t it? Well, it’s really not if you take a different look at it.

Most of us are often troubled by nerve racking situations, being taken out of our comfort zones, dealing with some sort of stress here and there, etc. It honestly doesn’t have to be anything out of the ordinary. Breathing is what keeps our cool. They often say, “just relax, take a deep breath,” when something is going on. But what does take a deep breath really mean?

You’ll almost always do it yourself or see someone else do it. You’ll take the deepest breath in through their mouth and out through there mouth and their chest will look like you’re getting ready to blow up a hot air balloon. Did it fix whatever you were feeling though? Probably not. That’s because “chest breathing” causes a response called “fight or flight.” In reality, you’ve made things worse. Your heart rate is still beating faster than normal, your breathing hasn’t changed, and you’re still feeling the same way. Has anyone ever told you to nose breathe? Nose breathe whenever you get the chance.

This means if you don’t have any sort of congestion going on, nose breathe. Nose breathing is the best thing you can do for yourself in any situation. It raises your VO2 max. It keeps you more relaxed and calm. You’re able to perform your activities more efficiently and with less oxygen. Professional athletes (mostly Olympic runners) practice nose breathing in a way where it’ll help them perform better than their opponents. One example is, “bringing the mountain to you.”

Have you ever heard of high altitude training? Well, you can actually do this wherever you are. You don’t have to be at a place 10,000 feet in the air and stay there just to gain an edge. You’re limiting yourself by doing so. You can actually work on breath holding techniques while performing your training ground level, which will essentially give the same result as high altitude training. There’s obviously more to it and the book, The Oxygen Advantage will teach you all about it.

All in all, if you feel yourself on edge or like you need to take a breather. Remember to breathe in calmly and slowly through your nose. Forget about chest breathing. Forget about mouth breathing.  You have to work on expanding your stomach and not your chest (creating a stronger diaphragm and not a weaker one).

Pick up:

to get a better idea of what we talked about here today.

As always, leave feedback or comments if you’d like to. They’re always welcome. Enjoy your day!

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