Why You’re Guilty Of Overbreathing

We’ve got another global epidemic on our hands, as if we didn’t have enough as it is. The wisdom getting doled out by PE teachers hasn’t helped out much either.

“In through the nose, out through the mouth.”

“Breathe deeper”

We’ve got it backwards, and I’ll tell you why. Once I’ve quickly clarified that I don’t have a deep-set grudge of mouth breathers sparked by some childhood event. There’s a scientific basis for throwing shade against habitual dysfunctional breathing, just like there is on any topic I delve into.

So you know that point after a huge set of squats, where you drop back onto the ground and commence a set of hyperventilations to failure? It may not be the best way to get the systems back online.

That’s because breathing in excessive amounts of oxygen doesn’t do much to raise your blood oxygen levels, which is ultimately the route of getting enough composure and energy to haul yourself back to your feet.

Heavy breathing expels more carbon dioxide than you’re taking in, and without enough concentrations of that gas in the lungs, oxygen is restricted from transferring over to the blood, and then away to the muscles.

So carbon dioxide shouldn’t be framed as a waste gas that needs to be carted off. It’s even more important than oxygen in the quest for maximal breathing efficiency.

There’s no real benefit to dislocating your jaw and taking in more oxygen, because there’s more than enough being drawn in through a normal breath. You’re not going to recover any faster, even though there’s a violent physical impulse driving you to pull in as much air as you can.

Heavy breathing done consistently over time will gradually build up a low tolerance to carbon dioxide, and that problem will be compounded by constriction of vessels and lower blood supply to the heart.

At this point you’re not getting through any serious circuit training without jeopardising both your near and distant futures. The ability to escalate training intensity and realise your true physical potential is entirely dependant on breathing efficiency.

What I like to do in these articles is provide action items, takeaways that offer people a clear avenue to improve past a certain issue. In this case, improving the body’s tolerance to higher amounts of carbon dioxide will allow you to take your workouts and lifestyle to the next level, by allowing you to control the breath and preserve composure at higher intensities.

How do you go about doing that?

1. Breathe Through The Nose Only – The mouth’s made for eating, the nasal passage is designed for taking in oxygen. Revert to just using the latter for better efficiency. Carbon dioxide tolerance will be improved as you will no longer be at risk of losing excessive amounts through exhaling.

2. Breathe Light – Don’t panic, take your time and try to breathe deep through the diaphragm. Abandoning the use of the mouth breathing will be a serious first step towards accomplishing that.

The Low Down

Something has essential as breathing is naturally going to take a while if you’re on a road of redemption. But the upsides make this worth the wait. Dysfunctional breathing is pervasive, and can be seriously restricting your energy and focus, all without you realising. Simply lending some attention to the problem will have immediate effects on your routine. And in this quest of building your best body, you’re going to need to find your perfect routine.

Your Weekly Challenge – Get Through A Workout While Only Breathing Through Your Nose

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