BETTER BREATHING Do you ever pay attention to your breathing when your exercising Ever notice getting out of wind while on a treadmill or rowing machine Maybe you should consider training your respiratory muscles at the same time you condition your body. Our breathing pattern plays an important role in exercise training. After all, the air we breathe holds the vital oxygen our bodies consume to live and function. During times of exertion, anxiety, or illness our bodies can consume up to 10 times the amount of oxygen we do at rest.

Shallow, rapid breathing, upper chest breathing, and mouth breathing are ineffective breathing patterns that can not adequately meet the oxygen demands of the body during these times. The following material will instruct you in proper breathing techniques which will make more oxygen available to the organs and tissues of your body, allowing it to function at a higher, more efficient level. PURSED-LIP BREATHING Pucker up, it s time to learn how to improve your breathing. Pursed-lip breathing can increase the oxygen content in your blood, reduce carbon dioxide buildup in your body, reduce trapping air in your lungs, reduce shortness of breath, and calm your nerves.

If you are interested in any of these results you will want to master the art of pursed-lip breathing. And such an easy task it is! Please follow these steps and breathe through pursed lips whenever you need to. 1. Lie down, sit upright, or stand. 2.

Breathe in slowly through the nose. This fills the lungs from the bottom portions of the lungs to the top. 3. Pause long enough to purse your lips as though you were going to whistle or give a kiss. 4. Breathe out slowly through the pursed lips.

This will slow down your exhalation. You will notice it takes longer to breathe out than in. The restriction caused by the pursed lips may produce a SLIGHT feeling of pressure in your throat or chest; this is normal. 5. Exhale fully, NOT forcefully. 6.

Repeat steps 1-4. Remember, when doing purse lip breathing correctly, you will always breathe out 2-5 times longer than your breathe in. DO NOT forcefully exhale. This can cause airway collapse. DO NOT hold your breath. This builds up too much pressure in your chest.