Remember to Breathe
You’re sitting in the midst of an afternoon work meeting and feel that familiar, tiny tap on your wrist. It’s your Apple watch reminding you to take 60 seconds to focus on breathing. How stressed out must I be that my watch is reminding me to be mindful of my breathing? Pretty smart, right?Although your smart watch isn’t necessarily able to detect your stress levels, tech giant Apple was thinking ahead when they designed a watch feature to promote slow, conscious breathing. I’m sure you’ve heard your personal trainer remind you to, “Take a deep breath and slowly exhale!” or “Don’t forget to breathe!”
Why is this so important?
When you exercise and your muscles work harder, your body uses more oxygen and produces more carbon dioxide. Your circulation also increases to the oxygen to the muscles so that they can keep moving. Proper breathing is key when you’re working out. And a good pattern of breathing will make sure that your muscles get the oxygen they need to keep contracting.
Proper Breathing During a Workout
The most common breathing technique when working out is to inhale on the way down, and exhale on the way, or the pushing phase. For one example, think about doing a body squat. Breathe in before you lower your body to the ground, and then exhale through the heels to stand.
Breathing and Mental Health
Calming, centering you, and forcing focus, deep breathing and meditation prepares both your mind and body for whatever you have in store. As a practice, meditation is linked to improving overall health and well-being, lowering blood pressure and reducing anxiety, depression, and insomnia. For mental health, meditation and controlled breathing is the key to achieving balance, finding joy and experiencing deep gratitude.
For more tips on how and when to breathe throughout your workout, let Wilmington’s top personal trainer, Matt Johnson, teach you some new techniques!