Published – 8-30-2013
People who jog, tend to focus on training their muscles and improving their heart fitness.
This is all good yet, there is another aspect to running that tends to be overlooked – Breathing. The way we breathe and the condition and fitness of our respiratory muscles, especially the diaphragm makes a big difference!
An average jogger tends to be a chest breather, moving his shoulders up and down, inhaling and exhaling through the mouth. The problem with this kind of breathing is that it draws minimal air into the lungs. Most of the air inhaled in this fashion stays in the chest which is the upper part of the lungs. It doesn’t get into the lower part of the lungs, which is rich with air sacks and blood vessels. This is the place where oxygen enters the blood stream and then delivered thought-out the body.
When jogging, muscles need a good supply of oxygen to be able to move the body, but when our air sacks don’t get enough oxygen, muscles get fatigued and running becomes really difficult.
So if you want to improve your jogging, get renewed lung power by developing correct breathing pattern.
Efficient breathing involves breathing through the nose, slowly drawing air to the lower part of the lungs. When taking a breath, 80% of the work should be done by the diaphragm which in turn, prevents fatigue and improves overall endurance.
It may be hard to break the habit of chest breathing while you run, trying to keep the pace. I believe that when you practice breathing through the nose, using your diaphragm in rest, your body will be able to adapt this new habit to running conditions, hence, improve significantly body’s oxygenation and increase overall endurance. It can make your jogging a breeze.
Dr. Uri Kenig