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You Should Breathe During Body Exercises

As you decide to start working out, many choices might come to your mind. However, you definitely want the make the most beneficial decision about your body in particular. When I go to the gym or simply do some daily housework, unconsciously, I think that the oxygen I’m inhaling is burning sugar molecules. You might have heard that holding your breath during working out might increase the intensity and make you stronger. However, I personally believe breathing can facilitate even the most intense workouts.

How are Breathing and Exercise Related?

Breathing and exercise are closely related. Involvement in physical exercises always causes an increase in the rate of breathing. It is evident that for one to benefit from exercising, the rate of heartbeat and breathing must go higher. The muscles of a person doing the exercise start to push blood to the heart ( Aux-Bjerke, 2017). Consequently, the heart must beat faster to match this change. The increased rate of breathing is therefore stimulated by the increase in heartbeat rate. The increased heart rate results in blood being pumped to the mussels at a higher rate. Consequently, there is less time provided for the cells to take in oxygen. However, this is compensated by faster breathing rate, which ensures that the blood contains more oxygen. Faster breathing also facilitates quick removal of carbon dioxide that forms at a faster rate when one is exercising. Heat is also generated in the body at an increased rate during physical exercises. As the temperatures rise, the body is triggered to increase the rate of breathing. This involves muscles and nerves that constitute the respiratory system. The relationship between breathing and exercise I also impacted by other factors such as the brain. Usually, this organ anticipates more demand for oxygen and therefore will stimulate increased heartbeat and rate of breathing. The relationship between breathing and exercise can be analyzed in detail by looking at cellular physiology.

How Oxygen and Cell Energy are Related?You Should Breathe During Body Exercises

When you are breathing, you inhale many gases present in the air including oxygen. In return, you exhale carbon dioxide coming from the burned sugar in the process of cellular respiration. The cycle of energy in a cell goes on in three stages: glycolysis, Krebs cycle, and electron transport chain. In a normal scenario, the three stages take place starting with a single sugar molecule and oxygen. A massive amount of energy is generated in a form of ATP. Additionally, waste products such as water and carbon dioxide are produced.

What Happens if You Limit the Oxygen Amount?You Should Breathe During Body Exercises

If you decide to hold your breath, your body will still find a sneaky way to generate more energy because your cells do not want to die. They will find out there is not enough oxygen after the first stage of glycolysis is completed. It is here where the body will switch to anaerobic respiration. A different pathway will be followed to generate minimal energy. The byproducts of this process, often referred to as fermentation, are lactic acid and carbon dioxide.

Is Holding Your Breath While Working Out Bad For You?

According to Herbert Benson and Klipper, holding your breath while working out is detrimental to the well-functioning of your body (Herbert Benson & Klipper, 1992). Your body wants to be stable and feel safe. By limiting oxygen through holding your breath, your cells will seek anaerobic respiration pathway to generate a minimal amount of energy that only serves to maintain crucial functions of the organs. At the same time, carbon dioxide and lactic acid will build up in your muscles. This accumulation of the metabolic by-products is what causes post-exercise muscle soreness and fatigue. Additionally, by taking a deep breath and holding it when lifting heavy weights, the amount of blood from reaching the muscles becomes limited. Improper breathing can increase the blood pressure and in some cases leads to a person becoming unconscious.

Why Breathing Is Good While Exercising?

The word breathing itself sounds relaxing. Weightlifting is an intense workout that needs longer recovery time between sets. By breathing probably during the workout, you can reduce the recovery time.  The intensity of a workout alone will make a person breath rapidly. Imagine if you hold your breath even if it was an easy exercise, definitely you will need more time to relax between sets. Another reason is to utilize breathing for stability of your spine. Breathing correctly activates the deepest abdominal muscle Ras Versus Abdominis (TVA). This tiny movement is important to create stability and prevent serious injuries.You Should Breathe During Body Exercises




Aux-Bjerke, A. (2017). Why Does Your Breathing Rate Increase During Exercise? Retrieved February 20, 2018, from

Herbert Benson, M. D., & Klipper, M. Z. (1992). The relaxation response. Harper Collins, New York.