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The Art and Science of Breathing

Breathe in for 2 steps, breathe out for 2, in 2…out 2, etc.  I was trying to increase my pace and distance struggling get beyond a wall.  Didn’t understand why I felt so winded until I went back to the training notes of my first half marathon.  My breathing was off.  Sure enough when I adjusted to the proper technique, things improved.  I Googled “getting winded while running” and most of the sites found referenced runners that were out of shape or overweight.  My BMI is at the upper end of the  “Normal” range so my weight is definitely a factor.  With the proper breathing yesterday, I also noticed my heart rate stayed well below the maximum (85% of the maximum recommended for my age: 220 – 50 = 170 x .85 = 145).

Breathing technique is a focus for women in labor to manage the pain.  It is also critical for relaxation – 90 deep breaths in and out can help to manage heart rate and blood pressure.  It is also a central part of Yoga as well as cardio workouts.

 Here’s an exercise I found that helps increase lung capacity:

1.  Inhale slowly as deep as you can.

2.  Hold your breath for a couple of seconds.

3.  Slowly exhale with your lips almost closed – it should take twice as long as the inhale until you are almost out of breath.  Breathe normally until you catch your breath and then repeat the above exercise 10-12 times to complete one set. Do 2 to 4 sets per day, always before any meals (not right after a meal).

Do an extra set before you start running.

Try it and see if your running doesn’t improve.  I’m going to do this and will see if I notice any change.  In the mean time…come run/walk with me…

Here’s the morning dose of inspiration – Don’t leave this post without watching this – Have a great day!

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