Proper breathing during exercise is important because it helps deliver oxygen to your muscles. As you expend energy carbon dioxide is created. Breathing helps rid your body of the waste. The harder you work, the more oxygen you will need. Controlling your breath boosts stamina and helps you have a better, more effective workout. Here’s how…

Sounds simple, right? Turns out, remembering to breathe during exercise is not as simple as it sounds. Holding the breath during exertion is particularly common and a prime reason for reduced effectiveness. For better results take regular in and out breaths, and time the exhalation to occur during exertion. So, during lifting you would exhale as you attempt to lift the weight.

Practice diaphragmatic breathing
Chest breathing, or shallow breathing will not deliver enough oxygen rich blood to fuel your muscles for optimal effectiveness. Instead, breathe from the belly. Chest breathing is pretty common and can contribute to undue stress and tension, even when you aren’t exercising. Practice to be sure you have the correct breathing form. Lie on your back with one hand on your belly and the other on your chest. As you inhale, you should notice that the hand on your belly rises while the hand on your chest remains in place. Continue practicing until you achieve proper diaphragmatic breathing. Diaphragmatic breathing helps control the breath, strengthens the diaphragm and lets you breathe with less effort.

Find your rhythm
Notice what is happening with your breath as you exercise. It is helpful if you match your breathing to the cadence of your movements. So, when running for example, practice matching your breathing with your foot fall. Also, aim for evenly matched inhalations and exhalations.

Breathe through your nose
Let the air expand your belly as it moves in and out of your nose. Use controlled, rather than ragged breaths. When you lose control of your breathing, slow down until you are able to comfortably resume the technique. Shallow, mouth breathing weakens the diaphragm and can make it difficult to breathe efficiently as you increase your exertion levels.

It takes time to get the hang of controlling your breath while working out. Take care to notice what is happening with your breath as you exercise and adjust as needed. Remember to take deep breaths from the belly and through the nose. In time, this way of breathing will become second nature and your workout routine will be better for it.