Going out for a run is one of the most popular forms of exercise. Not only is it great for your physical health, but it also offers a great break from a monotonous day and allows you to breathe the sweet air outside. It, however, comes with its challenges. A lot of us find the biggest struggle to be able to breathe.
We quickly seem to run out of breath, which negates the very purpose of donning those running shoes and coming out. There can be various reasons for it, but there are also ways you can fix it and make your running exercise more efficient. Read on to learn more.
Why do we struggle to breathe while running?
- One of the reasons behind this is an accumulation of a larger amount of carbon dioxide because of which the lungs start demanding more oxygen to keep you going.
- This could also be an indication of low stamina or lack of practice. Such a situation arises when your diaphragm muscles are not strong enough which often leads to common occurrences like a side stitch.
- While running out of breath is a common experience for runners, it can sometimes be an indication of more serious medical conditions like Asthma or Dyspnea. It is advised to consult a doctor in case the problem persists for long and creates greater discomfort.
The common dilemma of whether to breathe from the mouth or the nose
As opposed to common belief, there is no villain out of the two. The breathing pattern while running largely depends on your pace. If you are running at a relatively lower pace, breathing from the nose can sustain you as that breathing pattern can manage your oxygen demands. However, as the pace increases, it is advised that you follow the nose-mouth breathing pattern. In this process, you will inhale from your nose allowing filtered air to get in, and then breathe out from your mouth, ensuring that most of the carbon dioxide comes out.
[ Also Check: Tips for Marathon Runners ]
Practices that can help you breathe better
The main aim of the tips and tricks listed below is to help you put less stress on your body, allow more oxygen inside and push out the maximum amount of carbon dioxide outside.
1. Strengthen your breathing muscles
As discussed above, sometimes difficulty in breathing while running is an outcome of a weak diaphragm. This can be fixed by practicing diaphragmatic breathing. This involves deep breathing while laying down, and feeling the diaphragm move by placing your hands on your chest and under the rib cage. This will strengthen your diaphragm muscles and allow your chest to expand more so that it can take in more oxygen.
[ Also Check: Breathing Exercises to Improve Lung Functioning ]
2. Breathing and foot strikes
A rhythmic breathing pattern is one of the most popular techniques to breathe well while running. This process involves syncing your breathing with the pace of your loco motor movement. The process ensures that with every foot strike you put less pressure on your body, as exhalation at the very time your foot hits the ground creates stress on your body often resulting in injury. When you start paying attention to your breathing to match the rhythm, you also become conscious of not landing on the same foot each time you exhale and also ensure that you meet the oxygen supply that your pace demands.
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3. Warm-up before you go for a run
Warming up before running stretches your body so that you avoid cramps or muscle injury and also prepares your respiratory system for the forthcoming stress. This ensures that you don’t run out of the essential supply of oxygen and also that you keep carbon dioxide at bay.
Employ these techniques to experience fully the pure joy of running!