In our daily lives, breathing comes naturally and doesn’t require any thought. We need oxygen, so we inhale, and we need to rid our bodies of carbon dioxide, so we exhale. However, few people use their lungs to their full capacity. Generally, we take quick, shallow breaths which results in using only a part of our lung capacity.
When we exercise, however, our working muscles demand greater amounts of oxygen and we create more carbon dioxide waste as a result. This results in an automatic increase in our respiration rate.
Breathing correctly is important while exercising because it helps with posture. The same muscles that help us with our posture are the ones that also help us respire.
The body needs water and increased oxygen to burn fat as an energy source. As you add more water and oxygen to your system, your body will be able to use the retained water for excretion, prompting almost immediate weight loss of retained water and toxins. This is not the same as sitting in a sauna and sweating which actually dehydrates you. Adding water will rehydrate you and enable the body to burn more fat (as long as you increase your oxygen intake by doing some form of exercise). Walking, swimming, biking, jogging, calisthenics, and even yard work can help with working your cardiovascular system.
During aerobic activities, such as running or swimming, a good breathing pattern ensures that your working muscles will continue to receive the oxygen they need to keep contracting. For moderate-intensity exercise, such as walking, you should not be breathing so hard that you can’t carry on a conversation. For vigorous-intensity exercise, such as jogging, you will be breathing faster but you still should be able to talk in short sentences. Proper breathing is also important when doing different types of stretching. Slow and controlled breathing as you enter a stretch can better allow muscles to relax and lengthen.