Breathing, Form, & Rest Time

Breathing, Form, & Rest Time

Today’s tip focuses on breathing, form, and rest time.  Often times, people struggle with maintaining the stamina and energy to go for a long trail run or workout without getting too exhausted 10-15 minutes after starting.  One thing that really helps me (and is a learned technique over time) is to maintain controlled breathing.  In order to do this, you really need to find a steady rhythm and flow (which often takes time and patience to develop), but counting your breaths as you breath in and breath out can sometimes be helpful.  Further, steady, controlled breathing while exercising will help you conserve energy and push you through your workout.  This will help you gradually improve your stamina and energy over time, which in turn will allow you to go for longer runs, maintain higher intensity workouts, and make you feel less exhausted during your workouts.  Be patient because finding your rhythm and flow for controlled breathing can be challenging when first starting out.

Next thing to think about is your form when you are doing exercises.  Along with your breathing, stretching and increasing your flexibility will really help move you forward in your workouts.  It helps warm up your body and prepare you for what is ahead without using too much energy too soon.  Additionally, remember that while you may feel more successful when you do many reps of each exercise, if you are not using the correct form when doing exercises such as squats, push-ups, lunges, etc. then you are not only hurting yourself, but you aren’t utilizing your energy efficiently to obtain maximum results.  In order to use the correct form, go at a slower pace if necessary and modify or adjust exercises to fit your level and lifestyle.  For example, do “girl” push-ups at first if you need to and work your way up to doing a normal push-up.  I like to remind myself that when exercising, “quality” of correct form, trumps “quantity” of reps per exercise.  Eventually, once you master your quality it will become second nature and you can then begin quality and quantity at the same time during your workouts! 😉

My last part for today, is to remember that rest time throughout your workout and at the end of your workout are as important as your actual workout!  It is very important to stay hydrated when exercising, so I always have a water bottle alongside me.  In order to refrain from stopping frequently to take drinks and rests (which also means a break in your heart rate), I have timed, controlled breaks to maintain a steady pace for myself.  For example, I might give myself five 30 second breaks during a 45 minute workout, but do whatever works best based on your fitness goals and lifestyle.  During your 30 second rests, remember not to take big gulps of water when you rest as this can lead to heavy breathing, using more energy.  Instead, take several small sips when you take your 30 second rests to conserve your energy and give you additional energy to continue.  Lastly, a great way to help yourself ease into your post-workout is to have a post-workout routine.  Rather than ending a long run with sitting on the couch to return your heart rate back to its normal rate, walk for 3 minutes or have a stretching routine.  This is important because you don’t want to stop a workout with your heart racing, but rather you want to steadily bring it back down.  For example, I do crunches and hand weights to slowly allow my body to return to normal. Happy exercising2behealthy! 🙂


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