Most of us are pretty much already aware that exercise is good for the body, but when you understand how exercise changes the body, it makes getting off your bed and into the gym much easier. The body is a complex machine, and a lot of changes typically take place when you start working out.
When you exercise, one tends to breathe faster than usual, and this has prompted so many people to ask the question: How is blood flow related to lung function during exercise? Well, the answer to this question is easy but in requires a better comprehension of the changes that occur in the body when we exercise.Blood Flow Related To Lung Function During ExerciseHow Is Blood Flow Related To Lung Function During Exercise?Importance of Breathing Properly During ExerciseHelps in Maintaining PostureImproves PerformanceImproves Fat LossNasal Breathing vs. Mouth BreathingNasal Breathing.Mouth Breathing. Conclusion
As mentioned earlier, a lot happens to your body during exercise, and the very first thing you will probably notice is that you are out of breath and your pulse is high. However disconcerting it may feel, it is a normal body response. If that is the case, then how is blood flow related to lung function during exercise?
When you exercise, the blood vessels are dilated so as to increase the volume of oxygen carried in the blood, and as a result, the lungs work harder to satisfy the body’s oxygen demands.
Also, the blood circulation volume increases when you exercise, making your body more efficient; hence the lungs must work just as hard to maintain the body’s efficiency level.
It is not a secret that you have to breathe properly when performing aerobic activities, like running or swimming, or other types of exercise such as bodyweight training or strength training. Besides ensuring that your connective tissues and workout muscles get sufficient oxygen, here are other benefits you will accrue from following the right breathing pattern.
When you inhale during exercise, the chest expands, and as a result, it aids in keeping your back straight. This is crucial when exercising because a majority of the exercises we perform require that our back be in line.
Besides, the right workout posture provides safety and ensures that you work your target muscles properly.
When you follow the right breathing pattern during exercise, you take in oxygen that’s distributed throughout your body to provide your muscles the power to push on. The more power your muscles have, the more improvements you get in your overall body performance.
Also, breathing properly during exercise means there will be more oxygen for your body to use for other functions.
The body requires water and oxygen to convert body fat into energy. The more oxygen you take in – through proper breathing, the more your body gets rid of fat, toxins and stored water resulting in weight loss.
Breathing in properly fuels this process and therefore allows you to shed the fats faster and more efficiently.
Poor breathing slows down your metabolism since the body’s trying to cling onto the resources it already has, which in turn produces fat. With improved breathing, however, you can reverse this process.
There’s always the tendency for people, whether adults or children, to breathe through the mouth instead of the nose. Whether you’re going about your daily life, sleeping or exercising, it’s preferable to breathe through the nose than through the mouth.
Mouth breathing causes the brain to perceive that carbon dioxide is leaving the body too fast and as a result, it stimulates the production of mucus in an attempt to slow the breathing.
Breathing through the nose is more efficient that mouth breathing with regard to supplying oxygen to the body. When doing cardiovascular exercise, it is advisable to inhale and exhale through the nose to facilitate filtering and warming of the inhaled air.
Breathing through the nose is way healthier than mouth breathing for some reasons. The lungs take oxygen from the air, and most of the oxygen absorption occurs on exhalation. Exhaling through the nose causes higher air pressure and as a result, a slower exhalation which gives the lungs more time to extract large volumes of oxygen.
This is common in people whose nasal passages are restricted or blocked. For instance, a small nostril size can cause one to breathe primarily through the mouth. Mouth breathing is greatly discouraged because it is inefficient and can result in hyperventilation, which worsens the symptoms of asthma.
When you exercise, the lungs and blood circulatory system respond differently to satisfy the body’s demands for more energy. The most commonly felt response is a rapid heartbeat and a more powerful lung function to deliver sufficient oxygen to the body muscles.
Besides facilitating optimal oxygen intake, here are some other benefits of breathing properly during exercise:Improves performanceHelps in maintaining postureImproves the body’s fat burning capabilities
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After a sweaty HIIT workout, when you’re emotionally heated or angry, but also and especially on a hot summer day - the ancient yogis have thought of you. Maybe not about the HIIT workout, but it works all the same.
The yogis, by sitting in the Himalayas and observing nature and animals’ behaviour have created two breathing exercises that cool the body. Most of the breathing exercises, also called Pranayama, warm up your body, so Sitali and Sitkari are two exceptions.
Good for us! And it gets better: Both exercises also suppress hunger and thirst and their techniques are very simple to do, anywhere, anytime.
The name comes from Sanskrit, Sita means cooling or soothing.To start Sitali, sit comfortably in a seated position or meditation pose with a straight spine. If you’re out and about, maybe on a hike where you are longing for some cooling, make sure you stand upright of you can’t sit.
Now fold up your tongue up on the sides, leaving a small passage in the middle for the air to pass, and stick out your tongue a little bit. Only part the lips as much as you need to for the tongue to come through.
When you’re ready, take a deep breath in through your mouth, or better through the tongue, and exhale through the nose. Inhale through the mouth, exhale through the nose.
It’s advised to repeat this for two to three minutes. If you have more practice, you can keep doing Sitali for up to ten minutes.
Learn more on this Guide:
Sitkar means hissing in Sanskrit and it describes the sound that’s produced during the breathing exercise. You will hear it in a minute coming from your own mouth.
For Sitkari we start in the same upright position as for Sitali: Straight spine, shoulders relaxed.Now bring your teeth together gently, but don’t tighten up your chaw, and open your mouth slightly.
To start, inhale deeply through your mouth and through your clenched teeth. The sound you hear should remind you of your last visit at the dentist. Sorry for bringing that memory back, guys! Then exhale through the nose. You can do up to 20 repetitions.
How does this work?1. If you breath in through your mouth, the air doesn’t get warmed up (as it does when inhaling through the nose) and reaches the lungs with the temperature of the outside environment, which is usually cooler than our own body temperature.2. When inhaling through the tongue or teeth, the air gets moistened.
The combination of these two elements - cold and wet air - has a cooling effect on your body.But that’s not all. Here is a whole list of benefits you can experience after a regular practice of Sitali and Sitkari.
The breathing exercises affect the endocrine gland in a positive way, and help to control hunger and thirst. Isn’t that useful for all of us, when the munchies arrive or when stuck in traffic without food? The Pranayama also reduces excess biles and lowers fever.
Due to its activation of the parasympathetic nervous system, the exercises calm and relax your body and mind, lower blood pressure and improve sleep, even help with insomnia. They also improve digestion.
According to Ayurveda, the science of nature, an imbalance of Pitta means the body and mind holds too much heat and fire. Ayurvedic therapists therefore recommend Sitali and Sitkari in this case, to help people cool down. Mentally and physically.
Sitali and Sitkari are also a common exercise in Kundalini yoga that works mainly with breath and quick movements.
There is one important thing you should be aware of!
Don’t practice Sitali and Sitkari in too hot or too cold temperatures. As explained above, the air reaches your lungs in the same temperature that it is inhaled in, so if the air is of a too extreme hot or cold temperature, it can hurt your lungs.
Besides this there is not much to worry about. Anyone can do it. However if you have generally low blood pressure, observe if the practice makes you feel good, as it can lower the blood pressure even further. Stop and keep breathing normally if you feel drowsy.
So have a go next time you feel hot. As winter is at our door step, just wait for your next workout session. I’m sure Sitaliand Sitkari can come in handy.
You don’t need a teacher or any experience to benefit from these cooling breathing exercises, as long as you listen to your body and stop and breathe calmly in case you don’t feel well.
The techniques are very simple and there is nothing you can do wrong. Enjoy!
About the Author
Kosta Miachin is the creator of VIKASA Yoga method - a unique, challenging and effective approach to yoga. He is also the founder of VIKASA Yoga Academy. You can find him online: http://www.vikasayoga.com
Practicing regular, mindful breathing can be relaxing, energizing and even aid in alleviating stress-related health problems, from digestive orders to panic. Since breathing is something we can regulate and control you’re probably wondering; what is the purpose of breathing exercises? Well, the truth is that breathing exercises are a useful tool for a relaxed and clear state of mind.
When performed correctly, breathing exercises are not only essential for living longer but also for having a good mood and keeping your performance at its best. Before we can look at the different breathing exercises you can perform, let’s get some insight on the purpose of breathing exercises.Purpose of Breathing Exercises What is the Purpose of Breathing Exercises?Detoxification and Release of ToxinsBreathing Exercises Release TensionRelieve Body PainBreathing Exercises Improve Body Posture Types of Breathing Exercises You Can Perform Power Breathing ExercisesDeep Breathing ExercisesRelaxed Breathing ExercisesWrapping Up
Breathing exercises are not only essential for living longer but also for having a good mood and keeping your performance at its bestClick to Tweet
Most of us often take our breath for granted. It is always there after all and does not seem like something we should have to concentrate on. However, breath is powerful. Learning to harness your own breathing can aid in controlling your states of mind and body. It is a secret weapon. So what is the purpose of breathing exercises?
The body is naturally designed to release up to 70% of its toxins through breathing. As a result, if you’re not breathing properly, it means that you’re not properly ridding your body of its toxins. This means that other body systems will be overworked which could result in illness.
Breathing exercises increase the volume of oxygen intake in your body which results in better nourishment of the nervous system.Click to Tweet
When you perform breathing exercises, you get rid of carbon dioxide – a natural waste product of the body’s metabolism that has been passed from the bloodstream into the lungs.
Just think of how your body feels when you are stressed, angry, scared or tense. In such instances, your body constricts, the muscles become tight. And your breathing becomes shallow and as a result, you’re not getting sufficient oxygen into your body.
Breathing exercises increase the volume of oxygen intake in your body which results in better nourishment of the nervous system. A well-nourished nervous system causes the nerves to calm down and the muscles follow naturally.
Besides releasing body tension, deep breathing exercises can minimize the occurrence of muscle stiffness and boost your sense of overall well-being.You may need to read : how are breathing and cellular respiration similar?
Although it is difficult to understand the connection of breathing exercises to how you feel, think and experience life, the truth is that these exercises are a natural painkiller. Breathing exercises trigger the release of endorphins – natural, feel-good painkillers- created by the body.
Breathing exercises trigger the release of endorphins – natural, feel-good painkillers- created by the body.Click to Tweet
In fact, studies have revealed that when we feel pain, the most instant unconscious reaction is to hold our breath. Breathing deeply and breathing into the pain helps to release it.
In most cases, poor body posture is directly linked with incorrect breathing techniques. Try breathing exercises and you’ll be surprised to discover how your body naturally straightens up as you breathe deeply. Moreover, filling up your lungs encourages you to straighten your spine for a better posture.
Optimal breathing accords you more vitality and a better quality of life. When you perform breathing exercises on a daily basis, you will reap benefits such as reduction in blood pressure and stress, better blood flow, and healthy sleep among others.
And since quality breathing strengthens the mind, here are the three most common breathing exercises you want to try.
Power breathing exercises are meant to increase the strength of your entire body. Power breathing exercises should be performed with strength and power and should be done first thing in the morning when you wake up.
On the other hand, these exercises can also be done at the completion of an intense workout session, such as cardio training since they help bring you back to normal breathing very quickly.When you’re totally exhausted or completely out of breath from intense workout, that’s the perfect moment for power breathing exercises. What power breathing does it that it increases your body’s ability to absorb large volumes of oxygen thus allowing oxygen to be forced into the bloodstream in large quantities.When performing these exercises, you must exert physical strength by tightening the body muscles which helps strengthen your lungs and prepare you for an intense physical fitness session.
Relaxed breathing exercises are common in traditional meditation, relaxation, Chi Gong and yoga.With these exercises, you’re supposed to slow down your breathing to at most two breaths per minute.Such breathing exercises are usually very long, very soft and slow therefore aid in relaxing your mind and the entire body at large. Better yet, relaxed breathing exercises are excellent for tension and stress release.
While breathing exercises have a ton of benefits, it is important to be careful if you’re performing them for the first time since you may feel weak or dizzy. If that happens, take a breather for a few minutes until you feel better.
Additionally, in order to breathe properly, you must breathe deeply into your abdomen and not just your chest. And just to reiterate what we mentioned earlier, the purpose of breathing exercises is to:Release body toxinsRelease tensionRelieve body painImprove your posture
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See more:How To Check Blood Pressure At Home Without Any Equipment Strength TrainingCardio Training
If you’re like many people, there are different things or events that make you anxious or worried. Perhaps flying in an airplane is a trigger for you. Or maybe that weekly meeting that you have to have with your supervisor gives your stomach a case of the butterflies. And maybe, like most people, you think there’s nothing you can do about it. While anxiety might be something that we accept as part of life, it doesn’t have to rule your life.
There are some simple techniques that you can use—related to your breath, of all things—that can help to calm your body’s responses and return your flight/fight reflex back to normal. Many of them simply ask you to perform conscious exercises with your breath—breathing in slowly and holding it for a set count, for example. What breath exercises can you put to use for your anxious times? This graphic can help.
Think of your last workout. Did you breathe more rapidly? Did your breaths seems shallow? Were you not paying attention to breath at all? Often, breath patterns change during exercise, and it sometimes changes in ways that can make it harder for you to get your muscles the oxygen they need for effective performance. Below, we'll consider how patterns of breath can change during exercise, as well as some tricks and exercise hacks you can use to make your breathing - and your workout - more efficient and rewarding.
From a logical standpoint, frequent, shallower breaths make sense when you're exercising. However, this means you are getting less oxygen per breath.
Researchers Al Lee and Don Campbell explain that, by building strength in the diaphragm and in the intercostal muscles, athletes were able to use oxygen more efficiently when training. These athletes were trained using a technique known as respiratory resistance training
However, you don't need specialized training to reap at least some of the benefits of this training method. Whether you like to run or prefer a spin bike for consistent cardio, deliberately focusing on taking deeper breaths will allow you to train yourself to bring in more oxygen with each breath.
Spinning, in particular is often a high-intensity workout, and mastering this breath technique will help you get through even extremely challenging rides, whether you're taking a spin class or spinning in the comfort of your home.
There's plenty of debate surrounding breath techniques and lifting. Generally speaking, for non-maximal lifts, it's best to exhale during the concentric ("lifting") phase, and then inhale on the eccentric ("lowering") phase.
This is because, since you're generally expending more effort on the concentric phase, it's simply easier to inhale during the eccentric phase when your body isn't working quite as hard.
For those who are attempting one-rep maxes or similarly challenging lifts, the right breath technique, along with the sturdiest weight benches and other equipment, can make the difference between a poor lift and a personal record. Some powerlifters use the Valsalva maneuver, which refers to exhaling against a closed glottis.
This increases pressure in the abdomen, supporting the spine and allowing you to lift more weight.
However, as Jesse Irizarry of T Nation explains, this method is only meant to be held for a few seconds at a time, and it should not be used routinely. Because it spikes blood pressure, it may not be suited to those with existing hypertension or those with cardiac issues.
While many athletes use special breathing techniques to support relaxation and recovery, adventurer Wim Hof, who is better known as "The Iceman," advocates a distinct pattern of breath exercises before submerging oneself in ice.
He claims his breath exercises can support better health, and surprisingly, research backs him up.
In a study comparing 12 people trained by Hof to 12 controls, the people who had practiced Hof's breath and mindfulness techniques were able to fight off an injected strain of E. coli significantly better than the controls.
Hof also believes his breath exercises are the reason he has been able to perform unusual athletic feats, including climbing Mount Everest shirtless and running a barefoot marathon in the arctic.
While you may not want to challenge your body's tolerance of cold to this extent, using these breath techniques or others might be able to help you improve athletic performance and even fight off infections.
If you have just started exercising, you may be discouraged by running out of breath quickly. However, if you maintain your motivation to exercise through this phase and increase your level of fitness, you will find that you don't breathe as hard when you reach similar levels of exertion.
This is because, in fit people, exercise does not raise the rate of oxygen intake or the levels of lactic acid in the blood as much as it does in an unfit person. Plus, as your fitness increases, you will need shorter recovery times than before.
If you are currently in the early stages of an exercise program, it may be helpful to give yourself longer rest periods as you build a level of base fitness. Additionally, practicing taking deeper breaths will help ensure you get enough oxygen even during especially tough workouts.
While running out of breath quickly can certainly be challenging, it may be helpful to understand that this will not always be the case.
Just as there's long been a debate over the best breath techniques to use when lifting, you've likely heard plenty of opinions on taking breaths through your nose versus breaths through your mouth.
The truth is that there's no one clear winner in this debate - nose breaths may work for some, while breaths taken through the mouth may work better for others.
Each technique has its own benefits. Breath expert Alison McConnell recommends breaths through the mouth, since this is easier and allows you to take in a greater volume of air.
Breaths through the nose, on the other hand, can help warm up cold air before it hits the lungs. For this reason, this technique is favored by Ironwoman Terra Castro. Plus, while taking breaths through the nose can be a bit more challenging, it increases blood CO2 saturation, and this may promote feelings of relaxation, even duringa workout.
Breathing all too often becomes an afterthought during exercise. But by making it a focus of your training can dramatically improve not just your performance, but your general wellbeing as well. By being mindful of how breath changes during exercise and by training in a way that uses your breath wisely and efficiently, you can expedite your journey to improved fitness.
Guest Post - by Mike Jones
Mike Jones is a healthy living and fitness enthusiast and endorser. Mike is regularly blogging on the benefits of smart, not necessarily hard, workouts and natural remedies towards inner and outer health. He is a contributor to Exercise Bikes Expert
Is yoga too slow for me? Should I do yoga before or after workout? These are just a few of the numerous questions people are always asking their fitness instructors and trainers. Many people have lived with the notion that yoga is just about stretching, breathing, and relaxation but the truth is that there is a lot more to it.Do Yoga Before or After Workout? What exactly is Yoga?What are the Benefits of Yoga?1. Holistic Fitness 2. Improved Immunity 3. Better Posture and Flexibility Can You Do Yoga Before or After A Workout? Yoga Before A Workout Yoga After A Workout Conclusion
According to yogis, the word “yoga” means “to yoke,” and it translates to “unity of the mind, body, and soul.” By definition, yoga us a comprehensive form of exercise which promotes optimal mental focus and generates balanced energy, which is crucial to the functioning of the body.
After many years of being a taboo, yoga has finally hit the mainstream. It has at last broken free from its bohemian stigma, which is evident from the yoga studios that are mushrooming in almost every coffee shop and gym. So why the hype? The truth is that the benefits of yoga are almost infinite but and here are the few you can reap from regular yoga practice:
The modern-day gyms are packed with people of all sizes trying to work their bodies as hard as possible to achieve a perfect body. However, real body health is achieved by not only being physically fit but also emotionally and mentally balanced, and this is where yoga comes in.
The postures, meditation, and breathing techniques are a comprehensive, holistic fitness package which makes yoga a workout ideal not only for the body but also the mind and emotions.
Our spirit, mind, and body are inextricably connected, implying that any imbalance in your body has an effect on your mind and can even manifest as an ailment.
Yoga poses help massage the body’s internal organs and increases circulation which detoxifies the body. Also, the meditation and breathing techniques help release stress and boost immunity.
Although it’s pretty obvious, it is equally essential. Regular yoga practice will automatically leave you with a flexible, robust and supple body. Besides, practicing yoga regularly tones and stretches the muscles and aids in improving posture.
Yoga is an excellent complement to your fitness regime, even if it includes other exercises. What’s even more enticing is that there are benefits you accrue from including yoga in your fitness plans irrespective of whatever workouts you are currently doing.
Many people ask, can you do yoga before or after a workout? The answer is YES.
While this may sound a bit off, yoga can have excellent benefits when done before a workout and can go a long way in supporting your physical training program and here is why:
Individuals who have been into rigorous physical training can attest to the importance of warming up your body before a workout session. Although yoga before a workout seems like a burden, it certainly pays off.
To begin with, yoga involves lots of stretching which wrings out the body tissues and breaks up any adhesions, thus preparing your body for any kind of training. Moreover, some yoga poses incorporate full body rotations which increase your body’s flexibility, reduce the risk of muscle cramp or spasm during heavy lifting or weight training.
Before you can head out to the gym, it is advisable to perform yoga and in this case, the warrior pose. This yoga pose is an excellent pre-workout activity that not only helps increase your body stamina but also releases stress in your shoulders.
Those who cherish yoga can confirm that some styles of yoga are workouts in themselves and can be too much for the body after a session of rigorous training. However, there are some athletic styles of yoga that can be excellent post-workout utilities and this is what they can do for you:
Yoga is most beneficial after a workout because it is excellent to cool down your body. Doing yoga after a workout will stretch the body muscles you just trained and thus help reduce soreness and speed up the healing of the worn out tissues.
Getting enough oxygen to the body tissues and muscles is just as crucial after a workout as before. In this case, the Shoulder stand style is extremely helpful because it opens up your chest and increases oxygen supply to the lungs. As a result, this will help your muscles recover and grow during rest time.
Although regular yoga practice aids in developing the mind and body and therefore bringing lots of health benefits, it is not a substitute for medicine. Additionally, it’s essential to practice and learn yoga under the supervision of a trained instructor. If you’re still hesitant about doing yoga, here are some of its benefits:Better body flexibility and postureImproved immunityHolistic fitness
So what are you waiting for? Integrate yoga into your daily fitness routine and you will not only reap the benefits of this practice but also achieve your fitness goals faster.
This post is sponsored by TheTeeHive