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The Most Effective Breathing Techniques During Exercise

    Breathing should be controlled and relaxed lasting at least 2 or more seconds on the inhalation (in through the nose) and exhalation (out through the mouth) phases. This is true during recovery or light activity. During recovery or light intensity exercise, the individual should be able to prolong the exhalation phase longer than the inhalation phase. When the mouth begins to open more visibly and the individual is unable to breathe through the nose or talk in complete sentences without pausing (also known as the “talk test”) the individual has moved from aerobic to anaerobic metabolism as the primary phase of energy production. Even during anaerobic metabolism and moderate to high intensity work it is important for the client to work to control breathing, to supply a steady supply of oxygen and to avoid excessive strain on the heart or excessive rises in blood pressure. It is important for beginning exercisers who have not exercised regularly (at least 3 days per week) for the past several months to stay “aerobic”, until a baseline of low level conditioning can be established. Exerting at moderate (70-80%) to high (80% or above) intensity levels too soon in an exercise program can create a greater likelihood of injury to connective tissue and muscle, which has not had time to adapt to the new stimulus over a period of several weeks. Additionally, the endocrine system response may be com-promised with an inability for the body to be able to repair not only muscle tissue, but the immune system as well. The same efforts that can help the body can also hurt the body if not applied properly. Remember that exercise is intended to stave off illness and disease, not invite it by working out too intensely. Weight loss goals and desired body changes cannot outweigh the greater need for total body health.

Most people are in a hurry to get fit or healthy. It took a long time to get unfit or unhealthy, so it should not be surprising that the body will need sufficient time to adapt both internally and externally for long term health, fitness and performance benefits.

 Heart Rate and Perceived Rate of Exertion...

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