Hi all, my name is Tara, i am the new intern here at Bucks Fit. I’m originally from Ireland and recently moved to the States to try my luck here and to learn as much as i can. I studied at the Institute of Technology Carlow in Ireland where i received my degree in Sports and Exercise Rehabilitation.

We rarely think about breathing, but the key to successful exercise relies in how we breathe. Since the moment you were born you knew how to breathe. However getting to grips with controlled breathing while exercising can prove difficult. Breathing correctly plays a key role in exercise whether you are cardio training or weight training or even doing sit ups. Breathing efficiently is a skill that takes time to learn but once mastered will allow you to do more and feel less fatigued.

Breathing during exercise is difficult because the body is working hard at working out. Deep breaths are encouraged and shallow breathing should be avoided. Shallow breathing indicated you are working out too hard or your not breathing properly. While exercising your body requires more oxygen- Deep breaths as opposed to shallow breathing allow the diaphragm to pull in more oxygen so that the lungs can expand even further. This fuels the brain, the heart, the lungs and the muscles driving your body. Breathing correctly delivers more oxygen to your blood and muscles which in turn gives you more energy to get you through your workout.

Holding your breath while working out should be avoided, as this limits and cuts off the oxygen supply to your lungs. Limiting the amount of fuel delivered to the working muscles. This cause you to tire more easily, and can make you feel unwell, dizzy or faint.

While running be aware of your breathing, try to maintain a consistent rhythm throughout your session. Relax, control your breathing by staying in a good nice and tall efficient posture. The more restricted your breathing becomes, you often crouch down which restricts it even further. The taller you run, the more upright position you maintain, the more the lungs are able to take in more oxygen and sustain the level of activity. If you feel that you are starting to become short of breath, slow your pace down for a few minutes, allow your heart rate to calm down and let your breath catch back up. as your level of conditioning improves your efficiency of breathing will improve.

During a strength training sessions people sometimes concentrate too much on the exercise and forget to breathe. Breathing during strength training is as important as breathing during cardiovascular exercise. Improper breathing can result in fatigue and an inefficient workout. When strength training you want to inhale on the return (easiest part of the exercise) and exhale on the exertion (hardest part of the exercise). So for example whilst performing a sit up, exhale on the way up and inhale on the way down. This form of breathing allows you to get the most from each movement. Always remember to inhale through the nose, exhale through the mouth.

Even at the end of a workout session when you are stretching breathing is an important factor to consider. Deep shallow breaths filling the lungs help to release tension and may help to reach further into the stretch, much like the breathing pattern used during a yoga session.

So next time your working out, don’t forget to breathe and get the most out of your workout.

Hope to see you around here at Bucks Fit, if you see me say hi and ask me about Ireland! I might even teach you a few Gaelic words!