That’s the message coming from coaches, trainers and exercise evangelists, and even the focus of an article in the national press (5 February 2018). As breathing exercise classes sweep across gyms in the US, the importance of this type of training is being highlighted more and more.

How breathing works

Did you know that it can affect the way you feel and is linked to all bodily functions and processes?

As a process, it takes in oxygen from the atmosphere and releases carbon dioxide, as a by-product, out of the body. In fact, if you’re not doing it properly, your body can be ‘robbed’ of oxygen, leading to a host of conditions. These may include respiratory problems, cardiovascular problems, fatigue, stress, anxiety and medical conditions such as asthma.

Which breathing is better?

Deep breathing. This is associated with better health. In fact it can even help you feel a sense of calm. Consequently it can help to reduce stress and anxiety levels and lower blood pressure.

Shallow breathing, on the other hand, weakens the strength of your respiratory muscles and can undermine health. It comes as a result of our busy lives, coupled with a sedentary work environment.

Why breathing exercise is important

You train all your other muscles so why not your inspiratory muscles; the ones you use to breath in? They will adapt in the same way and become stronger. In order to do this, you must subject them to a stimulus that will challenge them. This is why breathing exercises are important.

An easy way of training your inspiratory muscles is to use a POWERbreathe Inspiratory Muscle Training device. As you breathe in through the device you breathe against a load, much like a dumbbell. And as your inspiratory muscles become stronger you increase that load. This makes your inspiratory muscles stronger and more resistant to fatigue. As a result, you’ll be able to exercise for longer and with less effort.

Breathing and exercise

According to Dr Belisa Vranich of The Breathing Class, the old ‘inhale, exhale’ is out. Consequently using the right muscles to breathe better is in. This is mainly the diaphragm. “Stronger breathing muscles make for better athletic performance,” Dr Vranich says. In addition, there are many research studies that bear this out.

For sport exercise scientists there is a range of high quality measurement devices by Ganshorn for the entire spectrum of pulmonary function diagnostics.

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