The Power of Breathing
Today’s blog post is going to talk about something that is vital to life but which is seldom thought about: breathing. More specifically, it will explore the power of breathing and how it can be used to improve the wellness of both your body and mind. Beginning with the science of why breathing is important, the benefits of training your technique will then be explored before offering advice on how you can do this.
Why is Breathing Important?
Whilst it may seem obvious that breathing is important, the scientific reason behind this is that it draws oxygen into the body. Once in the lungs, oxygen is transferred into the blood; it takes the place of carbon dioxide, which moves from the blood into the lungs and is then expelled from the body. The oxygen-rich blood then travels around the body and delivers the oxygen to the organs and muscles. They, in turn, use it to create the energy necessary to carry out their individual functions.
Science and exercise are intrinsically linked because biology is at the heart of fitness (no pun intended). Understanding the theory of exercise can help you to optimise your practice.
Alarm bells should’ve gone off in your mind when you read about oxygen being transported into the organs and muscles. The use and building of muscles demands extra oxygen because of the energy creating process that occurs when you put your body through physical endurance. This process is the reason why employing proper breathing techniques will make your training sessions easier to do and more productive. Learning to breathe deeply and rhythmically when engaging in such activities will ensure that that you are taking in enough oxygen to satisfy your body’s increasing demands.
Deep breaths can also deliver mental benefits because it promotes a feeling of calm. This is partly down to the physical effects of your organs, including your brain, receiving sufficient oxygen, but is also caused by you taking time to clear your mind and focus on your body. Breathing provides a focal point that can act as a mental reset button. In times of stress, it’s advisable to pause what you are doing and to draw in a few deep breaths.
The advice given above may seem simple enough, but once you concentrate on your breathing and become aware of the frequency and depth of your breaths you’ll realise that maintaining a steady pace is more difficult than it first sounds. Take some time each day to focus on your breathing, especially when engaging in exercise, and try to train yourself.
If you want to build up your thoughtful breathing skills, consider attending a yoga class. A significant component of yoga is timed and considered breathing. The Thames Club offers a range of classes, the details of which can be found on our timetable.