Breathing

On the whole, when I introduce the concept of breathing for health and performance to an audience, no matter how seemingly captive beforehand, there is an audible sigh. The irony is not lost on me. This used to be my exact response also. I think the reason for that is twofold; it is still seen as a bit of a soppy, new-age topic, or worse still as fringe pseudoscience, and because people are genuinely in the dark regarding the high impact better breathing can have on both health and performance.


Rather than try to cover everything in this blog - this is a vast topic - I figured I would outline a few key points, which are also low hanging fruit and require very little effort to incorporate.


Tip 1


Breathe through your nose. All the time. Except when you are eating, drinking or talking, keep your mouth closed. To level up, even more, adopt a good resting posture with a relaxed jaw, teeth lightly touching, and the tongue resting on the roof of the mouth. To make sure you are not cheating when you have your eyes closed, you might want to consider taping your mouth for a few nights or using a nasal breathing protocol to fall asleep.


Tip 2


Use breathing to regulate exercise intensity, not intensity to regulate breathing. One of the key learning points on my own journey to better breathing was learning that the relationship is two-way, and taking back some of the control over my breathing. If we push ourselves when exercising, we tend to over breathe, making it more difficult to get oxygen at the site of the working muscles, where it is required, and our response to this is then breathing harder still. This is inefficient and leads us to both breathe and raise our heart rates well above the level required to sustain our actual level of physical effort.





Tip 3