This exercise helps you increase your endurance by teaching you two techniques for improving your breathing technique. Most of us don’t breathe correctly and this affects our mental and physical health. This exercise is for athletes, asthmatics, folks with sleep apnea, and anyone looking for more energy and endurance.
- Improving athletic performance and physical stamina.
- Improving mental focus, clarity and mood.
- People who experience brain fog, fatigue or chronic health issues.
Our most vital nutrient is oxygen. We can go weeks without eating food and days without water, but without oxygen we are gone in minutes. Most of us don’t use oxygen in an optimal way and we take this vital nutrient for granted. A significant majority of people over-breathe, taking in too much volume of air and breathing too frequently, from the upper chest. This maladaptive pattern disrupts the nervous system and slowly wreaks havoc on health and energy 먹튀검증.
This exercise will train you to breathe more efficiently, to improve your endurance and your overall health. Clients find that practicing these simple steps regularly shifts their mood, energy, vitality and even their weight in a positive direction very quickly.
Step 1: Check your breathing patterns
First, check to see if you have any maladaptive breathing patterns.
1. Notice your breath right now. Are you breathing through your mouth or your nose?
Now, place one hand on your chest and one hand on your abdomen, close your eyes and breathe normally.
2. On your inhale, is your chest or your belly expanding?
3. Now notice (without changing anything) if you are completing your inhales? Your exhales?
4. After breathing for a period of time, do you notice an urge to yawn or gasp for air?
- Now that you’ve completed your evaluation, let’s describe the basics of proper breathing:
- Breathing should be in and out through the nose regardless of activity. The only exception is during strong exertion when it is proper to exhale through pursed lips.
- While inhaling, the lower ribs and abdomen should expand three-dimensionally. Breathing should not be just inflating the chest.
- Breathing should feel relaxed and complete. At the completion of your exhale, you should feel a sense of ease and calm.
- Yawning and gasping is a sign of over-breathing. This means you are taking in too much air.
Once proper breathing is established, the next step is to breathe less. Why? When we breathe too frequently and with more volume than we need, we expel greater amounts of carbon dioxide, lowering the blood levels of this gas. Low levels of carbon dioxide in the blood prevent oxygen from being utilized by the body in an efficient way. Fast and frequent breathing, beyond your current needs, deprives your cells of oxygen and results in fatigue, brain fog, lack of energy and low endurance.
Therefore, you need to train yourself to breathe:
- With less volume, and
- Less frequently.
Before you begin training yourself to breathe less, it is important to measure your current CO2 (carbon dioxide) tolerance.
Step 2: Test your CO2 tolerance
Start by measuring your current CO2 tolerance. We will be indirectly measuring the blood volume of CO2 you can tolerate before your body signals the need to inhale. This is a fancy way of saying how long you can hold your breath comfortably.
1. Take a few rounds of normal breath through your nose.
2. When you’re ready, exhale as you normally would and plug your nose.
3. Time how long it takes to get the natural signal to inhale.
This is not a competition to see how long you can hold your breath. It is a measurement to see when your body is asking for more oxygen, so be sure to measure the first urge to inhale. Your first inhale should not feel like a gasping for air. It should feel like a normal breath.
Gradually, you will want to build up to comfortably holding your breath for 40 seconds or longer. Improving your tolerance for CO2 translates into greater endurance. The next exercise will help you to achieve that.
Step 3: The Square Breath
Set a timer or cadence counter or simply keep a rhythm by tapping your hand on your lap.
1. Inhale gently for 4 counts
2. Hold your breath for 4 counts
3. Exhale your breath for 4 counts
4. Suspend your breath for 4 counts.
Do several rounds of this square breathing exercise. Once you can do 15 rounds without feeling out of breath, increase the count to 5, then 6, then 7 and so on.
Square breathing is a great way to improve oxygenation of every cell in your body by increasing your CO2 tolerance. You will feel the benefit right away. Once you get above a 10 count for 15 or more rounds, you are well on your way to having significantly greater endurance and energy.
Tips for coaches
First, walk your client through the practice of observing their breathing tendencies or simply observe them to determine if they are a mouth breather or an over breather.
Then, test their CO2 tolerance. Once you have a baseline, you can measure your client’s progress objectively.
Next, lead them through the square breathing process. Be sure to do at least 8 rounds with them. If they are very unfit drop the countdown to 2 or 3 per action. Assign square breathing as homework. Be specific about count, number, and repetitions.
Finally, assign square breathing as your client is engaged in activity. Walking or running is best because you can use their step cadence to count. Challenge them to maintain a long, slow, and steady square breath and gradually lengthen each phase of breathing. Practicing square breathing during exertion is a fantastic way to improve endurance quickly and efficiently.